Top UK institutions will partner with their Indian counterparts to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the two nations, and showcase British creativity on the global stage.
Madame Tussauds, the famous wax museum, will open a venture in New Delhi for Bollywood stars as part of the India-UK Year of Culture celebrations in 2017. These celebrations will mark the 70th anniversary of Independence as well as India’s cultural ties with the UK.
This was announced in London by the British government on the occasion of PMNarendra Modi’s visit. A festival of India will also be held in the UK during the year.
“The great partnership between India and the UK extends beyond economic ties to the boards of The Bard and the beaches of Bollywood. We have some of the best cultural exports in the world — and it’s about time we celebrated this, together,” British PM David Cameron said.
Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are among the most popular exhibits at Madame Tussauds in London. The parent group of Madame Tussauds, Merlin, is set to invest £50 million in India over 10 years, rolling out other UK favourites — such as Sea Life aquariums and Legoland Discovery Centres — across Indian cities.
Two of the most iconic British texts will tour India as part of the 2017 cultural exchange. The British Library will showcase Shakespeare’s First Folio, the first collected edition of the Bard’s plays, and the 1225 edition of the Magna Carta.
The British Library will digitise 200,000 pages of their South Asian archives, making Indian books from 1714 to 1914 accessible around the globe. One of India’s premier museums, the CSMVS Mumbai, will tell the story of Indian civilisation using items on loan from British Museum.