Modi gifts ‘Tree of Life’ painting to Hollande

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted French President Francois Hollande a painting titled ‘Tree of Life’, reflecting traditional societal respect for nature in India, a statement said on Sunday.

The tree, as a divine gift central to human life, is a recurring element in Indian artistic practice, it said.

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“The Tree of Life, with multiple roots and branches like a banyan tree, is a motif for a tree’s benevolence, fruit, seeds, shelter, healing, procreation and regeneration faculties that sustain life and clean environment,” the statement said.

France will host a meeting of Conference of Parties on UN Framework Convention on climate change in December 2015.

The painting (pigments on silk) has been done by an Odisha artist, Bhaskar Mahapatra, who has been practicing the art form for the last 30 years along with his family, and works from home in Raghurajpur village.

Bhaskar Mahapatra, who has been honoured by Lalit Kala Akademi, is inspired by his training and expertise in palm leaf painting and pattachitra.

France was the first stop in Modi’s three-nation-tour. He will fly to Germany on Sunday, and later to Canada.