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Madurai: The Book Festival has started in Madurai Damukkam Maidan yesterday after last two years due to ‘Corona’ restrictions. A 25-feet tall ‘Book Sculpture’ designed to look like Tamil books stacked on top of each other at the entrance of the ground to welcome the visitors to the book festival has captivated the audience.
This sculpture, which consists of two children reading Thirukkural books stacked on top of each other, like Kundalakesi, Brangapati, Sivakasintamani, Manimekalai, Silapathikaram, Patijan Kilkanaku, Batuppattu, Etuthiya, Tholkappiyam, etc., is arranged as if two children are reading a Thirukkural book. The book sculpture was designed by Talamuthu and Shekhar, former students of Gavin College of Arts, Chennai.
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Speaking about this, Thalamuthu said, “They called from the Collector’s office to design a hall for children to attract school children during the book festival. Based on that, we started designing the venue for workshops, juvenile films, short films, story reading, storytelling, juvenile books at the book festival. We took the sample to the collector and showed it.
In it, we also highlighted the book sculpture which is currently placed in Tamukkam Maidan. At that time, we planned to set up this book sculpture on a very small scale. The collector, who was happy to see it, said that it should be made big so that everyone can look back and said that it should be 25 feet high. That motivation of the collector now stands as the 25 feet tall book sculpture in front of the Tamukkam Maidan.
Generally, the people who come to study for the book festival are adults. It’s no big deal. Beyond all of them, the idea of designing this book sculpture was created by the vision to encourage the reading habit among the young children who are the future generation studying in schools and those who have never come to the book festival. The book festival started today.
But we installed this book sculpture here many days before that. All the people passing by the Tamukkam Maidan stop and admire this book sculpture. Some of them have come before the book festival to inquire about what is going on inside. That is the success of this book sculpture set. We have designed this book sculpture with wood, piper etc. so that it is not affected by rain and sun for 10 years.
If they kept this as a plus banner, they would have just watched it go. But passers-by also stop to admire the book sculpture and see what is going on inside the book festival. We hope that this Buddhist sculpture will encourage those who have not read Tamil copies including Silapathikaram, Manimekalai, Sivaka Chintamani, Bangapati, Kundalakesi etc. Therefore, our intention is to put any idea in the form of art to entertain children and the public and stimulate their thinking, instead of putting up banners etc.” he said.