Osian to open unique cultural centre by 2009

Mumbai, June 15 (IANS) The old Minerva theatre in Mumbai is all set to be revamped into a unique cultural centre that will house a multiplex, library, media archives and an art gallery. And a model of this was unveiled at the Osian-Cinefan film fest here.

Mumbai, June 15 (IANS) The old Minerva theatre in Mumbai is all set to be revamped into a unique cultural centre that will house a multiplex, library, media archives and an art gallery. And a model of this was unveiled at the Osian-Cinefan film fest here.

The model of 'Osianama' - as the centre will be called - was displayed at the concluding session of the 10th Osian's-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema Saturday evening, which was attended by a host of Bollywood celebrities like Shammi Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Shyam Benegal and Basu Chatterjee.

Said Neville Tuli, Osian's chairman: 'The grand finale of the 10th Osian's Cinefan Film Festival Mumbai was a brilliant success and the unveiling of the Osianama has created a huge expectation amidst our public, intelligentsia and the film fraternity.'

He said it would take 9-10 months for Osian's cultural centre to come up at Minerva theatre at Lamington Road and it is expected to be ready by mid 2009.

Tuli said: 'Nearly 5,500 people pass through our door step (events organised by Osian). Even if, one percent comes in to experience our centre, then also we will get a huge number of visitors.'

The complex will include a central debating chamber to facilitate free discussion and expression of ideas, a duplex cinema theatre showing world cinema, contemporary gallery spaces for cutting-edge art and media, archives, library and research rooms.

Osianama will also have a book and design store and spaces for educational and appreciation courses along with an auction house for film and sports memorabilia.

Tuli said the aim of building such a cultural centre was to provide a world-class platform for the general public. According to him, it would be a platform for interaction between the middle class and the elite, and it would be a place where art and cinema would share common space.

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