Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 13:
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made him famous by presenting his painting on silk ‘Tree of Life’ to French President Francois Hollande, the Odisha government suddenly remembered pattachitra artist Bhaskar Mohapatra and felicitated him at a function in the state capital on Monday.
State culture and tourism minister Ashok Chandra Panda and department secretary Aravinda Padhee felicitated Mohapatra.
“I had created the ‘Tree of Life’ not to get any award, but on the occasion of Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebara festival,” Mohapatra said after being felicitated.
Mohapatra, a native of the famous heritage village Raghurajpur in Puri district, was unaware of his work getting global appreciation.
“I came to know about it last evening after reporters called me up to convey that my painting has been gifted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the French President Francois Hollande,” he said.
“I was told that the ‘Tree of Life’ will find place in a French museum, but do not know how it reached the Prime Minister,” he said.
Notably, a Lalit Kala Akademi award-winning artist, Mohapatra has won many accolades for his expertise in palm leaf painting, commonly known as pattachitra in Odisha.