Mahatma Gandhi's bust unveiled at Turin, Italy

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Rome, Apr 19 (UNI) A bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled at the majestic Piazza Cavour square in the heart of the north Italian industrial city of Turin here yesterday.

The function was attended by India's Ambassador to Italy, Rajiv Dogra and Mr Giuseppe Castronovo, President of Turin City Council besides several Italian Parliamentarians, business, cultural and media personalities and scholars.

Students and Faculty members of the leading educational institutions like the International Institute for Advanced Asian Studies (CESMEO), the Department of Oriental Studies of the Turin University and Turin Polytechnic also attended the function.

The 'Piazza Cavour,' earlier known as 'Giardino dei Ripari', is an historical square built in 1835. It stretches over a small hill and is surrounded by noble buildings such as the Biscaretti di Ruffia Palace, and museums of anthropology, ethnology and mineralogy.

The bust of Mahatma Gandhi was commissioned and gifted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and is made by famous Indian Sculptor Gautam Pal.

Mahatma Gandhi's message continues to inspire people of Italy.

More than 15 educational institutions are named after Gandhi all over Italy.

Programmes like poetry competitions, functions, discussions have been held over the last two years emphasizing the relevance of non-violence and peace in today's world.

The Radical Party has Mahatma's face on their flag.

European Parliament's draft Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2007 considers Gandhian non-violence to be the most appropriate means of ensuring that fundamental human rights are enjoyed, upheld, promoted and respected.

With a view to giving this idea a central political role, the draft, authored by Mr. Marco Cappato, an Italian Member of the European Parliament from the Radical Party, proposes that European Conference on Non-Violence be convened in 2009 and that 2010 be designated as the 'European Year of Non-Violence'.

It also calls on the EU member states to endeavour within the United Nations set-up to ensure that the 'Decade of Non-Violence 2010-2020' is proclaimed.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dogra said the ideas and message of Mahatma Gandhi are universal and continue to inspire young people around the world.

He said it was heartening to note that the life of Mahatma Gandhi is followed with admiration in Italy.

In his address, the President of the City Council, Castronovo, said Mahatma Gandhi's message remained relevant today. He expressed happiness that Gandhi's bust had been installed in Turin and hoped that the words and actions of Mahatma Gandhi would continue to provide inspiration and comfort to all people.

Later during the day, the Ambassador and the Rector of Turin University inaugurated a photo exhibition titled "Gandhi: His Life and His Message" at the Rectorate of the University of Turin. Turin occupies a special place in the Indo-Italian bilateral relationship. Several economic and commercial initiatives such as FIAT-TATA joint ventures, Mahindra and Mahindra's acquisition of an Italian design studio Grafica Ricerca Design (GRD), collaboration between the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and Pininfarina Spa, a well known design house, and many more are centered around this city.

UNI RB AKJ KP1503

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