Modi Presents Gifts To President Xi On Wuhan Summit Sidelines

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Beijing: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday presented Chinese President Xi Jinping reprints of two paintings done by the celebrated Chinese painter Xu Beihong (1895-1953) during his stay at Santiniketan between 1939 and 1940, sources said.

Titled “The Horse” and “Sparrows and Grass”, these paintings are in the collection of the Visva Bharati University and their single reprints were especially commissioned by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) for presentation on the sidelines of the informal summit meeting between the two leaders at Wuhan.

Sources further revealed that Xu Beihong came to Santiniketan and taught at the Kala Bhavana as its first visiting professor from China. During his stay, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore inaugurated an exhibition of more than 150 paintings of Beihong in December 1939.

Prime Minister Modi arrived in Wuhan early on Friday and had one-on-one and delegation-level talks with President Xi. Both leaders also undertook a visit to an exhibition of Marquis Yi of Zeng Cultural Relics and Treasure at the Hubei Provincial Museum.

Following delegation-level talks, the Chinese President hosted a dinner for the visiting Indian Prime Minister at which Chinese cuisine was served. Sources said that in a departure from protocol and in a unique gesture, the Chinese President saw off Prime Minister Modi after dinner.

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