An ode to Indian craft: PM Modi presents special art pieces to G7 leaders; Here’s what they represent

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G7 Summit held in Germany over the weekend and presented the world leaders with various art and craft pieces that represent the cultural heritage of India.

The presents were sourced from all parts of India but most of these were made from Uttar Pradesh. (Image: PTI/IE)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G7 Summit held in Germany over the weekend and presented the world leaders with various art and craft pieces that represent the cultural heritage of India. The presents were sourced from all parts of India but most of these were made from Uttar Pradesh. Here’s a look at who was presented with which art piece.

Black Pottery for Japanese PM

The Black Pottery from Nizamabad in Uttar Pradesh uses a unique technique that involves keeping the pieces inside the oven to prevent oxygen from entering. This ensures that the pieces get exposed to high heat and the black color comes out. The use of zinc contributes to the glaze on the pottery and a layer of mustard oil is applied before firing the pottery. The Japanese Prime Minister was presented with a set of three pieces.

Dokra art for presidents of Argentina and South Africa

The traditional technique of Dokra art is known as lost-wax casting, and it has been used in India for over 4,000 years. This is a non-ferrous metal art form that is very popular in both domestic and foreign markets.

An art piece made by Chattisgarh’s Chattisgarh district was presented to the President of Argentina. A statue of “Nandi”, who is referred to as the mount of Lord Shiva, was gifted. The President of South Africa was also presented with a similar piece based on the Ramayana theme.

Gulabi Meenakari brooch, cufflink set to US president

The art form known as Gulabi Meenakari is made from pure silver and is commonly found in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. A design is then carved into the metal, and the shapes are filled with natural anardana and meena glass.

The Meena glass is then fired to create a translucent outer layer, which is used to decorate the designs. The motifs are mainly focused on the color pink, which lends its name to the art form. A pair of cufflinks were also prepared for the US president.

Tea set handpainted by craftsmen for UK PM

The Prime Minister presented with a tea set sourced from Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh. The base form was hand-painted and fired at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Celsius. The design was then laid on manually using a Mehendi cone. Each shape is then filled with a different color, and the entire cup was fired again. The set was additionally adorned with platinum metal paint, to honor the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

Itr bottles in Zardozi box to French president

The Zardozi box was made in Lucknow. The gift hamper also featured a pendant made from Kashmiri art and a selection of fragrances from the region, which were produced using the traditional deg and bhapka method. The various fragrances featured in the box included Attar Mitti, followed by Attar Shamama, Attar Gulab etc.

Pietra Dura table top for Italy’s PM

The concept of marble inlay, which is also known as Pietra Dura, originated in the ancient Roman world, where materials were cut and then placed into walls and floors to create patterns and images. This particular piece from Agra was made using various semi-precious stones. The small pieces of these gemstones were then slipped into the grooves of the table top. This unique artwork is very similar to the Italian marble work.

The PM also presented Senegal’s president with a hand-woven moonj basket from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, the Indonesian president with Lacquerware Ram Durbar based on the Rmaya theme made in bright jewel tones. The PM gifted his counterpart in Canada with a hand-knotted Kashmiri silk carpet. 

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