Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) - Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor has said the government is going to set up a ‘Boat Museum’ as the country’s many traditional wooden boats are disappearing with the introduction of mechanised ones.
“There’s a wonderful idea to have a boat museum and our ministry gets involved with it. We’ve already sent a proposal to the Planning Ministry. I hope they’ll approve it as our honourable Prime Minister is also interested in it since boat is our (election) symbol,” he said.
The minister came up with the remarks while speaking at a launching ceremony of two books -- ‘BOATS – A Treasure of Bangladesh’ authored by Enayetullah Khan and Yves Marre, and ‘Barge for Bangladesh’ by Yves Marre -- at the Sufia Kamal Auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum here on Monday. Cosmos Books published the two books.
The minister said most of the wooden boats are actually disappearing due to the introduction of mechanised boats. “So, the museum we’re planning together will be a very special one with the collection of many traditional boats. It’s our duty to preserve our traditional boats.”
Noor thanked Enayetullah Khan and Yves Marre for writing the book on boat, saying the writers have done a wonderful job. “They’ve actually rediscovered the boats about which we’re not aware. They’ve done the job as researchers and they’ve done it out of love for Bangladesh.”
He hoped the book will help people conduct further research on boats and know about it.
The minister also thanked Yves Marre for writing the book on ‘Barge for Bangladesh’ on his interesting adventure.
French Ambassador to Bangladesh Sophie Aubert also hailed Yves Marre for writing the books on Bangladesh’s heritage being a French man. “You’ve become a bridge between France and Bangladesh ...”
She also thanked Enayetullah Khan for his efforts to highlight Bangladesh abroad by promoting various activities like art and culture. “Bangladesh is very lucky as it has people like Enayet and others who’re truly supporting activities relating to art and heritage to promote Bangladesh outside.”
Director General of the National Museum Faizul Latif Choudhury also appreciated Cosmos Foundation for carrying out wonderful jobs and collaborating with different events to promote the country’s art, culture and heritage.
“I hope this collaboration will continue in the days to come. I call upon the Cosmos Foundation to remain in touch with the National Museum and supporting our activities by your presence to make this museum more meaningful.
Enayetullah Khan assured the National Museum authorities that the Cosmos Foundation will collaborate more and more with it. “He (Faizul) opened his door and heart to us. So, I promise that we’ll work more and collaborate more together to highlight our culture and other assets.”
He also expressed his satisfaction for being able to write a book on boat as Bangladesh has the largest river system.
Enayetullah Khan also unveiled a plan to set up floating libraries in the country so that the children living in villages can come up and learn how to fight with very adverse climatic situation.
Yves also shared how he developed interest to write the books and the features and backgrounds of the two books.
Prof Emeritus Anisuzzaman, OP Sharma, COO of SAW Pipes Division of Jindal Saw Ltd, posco DAEWOO country manager Jong Bum Lee and UNB Chairman Amanullah Khan were, among others, present.
In the book of ‘Boats: A Treasure of Bangladesh’, Khan and Marre have collaborated to present a wealth of information from exposing the history behind an entire repository of this region’s culture to featuring outstanding photographs arid glorious scenes that were once ubiquitous but undeniably fading with passing time.
This book will take the reader through the technical mastery of the country’s naval carpenters. This work includes interviews with marine experts as well as common villagers, nature enthusiast, and esteemed members of society whose passion is to preserve her precious history.
In the book of ‘Barge for Bangladesh’, the canal barge ‘Fleche d Or’ left the protection of the French waterways at the end of January 1994 and set out with just two men on board with the intention of delivering the vessel to Bangladesh for conversion into a floating hospital.