Cairo: Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore`s portrait was jointly unveiled by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Egyptian Minister of Culture Shaker Abdel Hameed at the House of Poetry here. The portrait was commissioned by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations as a gift from India to the Egyptian people as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Tagore during 2011-2012.
The House of Poetry is a heritage building under the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, dedicated to the promotion of poetry, where weekly poetry salons are held by leading poets. It is a signal honour to India that Tagore is the first literary figure whose portrait graces the building.
Tagore visited Egypt in 1878 and in 1926 and developed a friendship with the great Egyptian poet Ahmad Shawqi. Since May 2011, the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture, the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy here, has been organising several functions in connection with the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore which include exhibitions, lectures, a literary seminar at the Egyptian Supreme Council for Culture, performances of Rabindra sangeet and dance drama by cultural troupes from India and an essay competition. These events have been held at the most prestigious venues not only in Cairo but also in the cities of Alexandria and Ismailia as well as in Upper Egypt.