EU ambassador visits Nasser Bagh art gallery

EU ambassador visits Nasser Bagh art gallery

LAHORE, May 12 (DNA): European Union Ambassador to Pakistan, Riina Koinka visited an art gallery inaugurated at the Nasser Bagh by the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), where she viewed an ongoing exhibition.

Dr Riina Koinka, who was in Lahore, received an invitation to visit The Barracks, situated within a historically significant but deteriorated bunker previously occupied by the Department of Civil Defence.

“The Garden” exhibition by Imran Qureshi, a renowned artist, seeks to delve into the historical significance of the landmark by converting its underground bunkers into an engaging environment. Employing a multidisciplinary approach, it investigates the interplay between ecology, aesthetics, and conflict.

During her visit, Dr Riina Koinka was briefed on the rich history of the British-era garden. Originally named Bandstand Garden, it was later rechristened Municipal Garden on the construction of Victoria Jubilee Hall (later Town Hall). The park also earned the moniker Gol Bagh due to its circular layout.

Following the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, the garden was renamed Nasser Bagh in tribute to Gamal Abdel Nasser, the longstanding president of Egypt. The diplomat was further informed that the gallery aims to become a dynamic hub for art enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

Additionally, Riina Koinka was briefed on various initiatives taken by the department. These include organising sporting events, establishing a pioneering Bonsai museum and yoga center at Racecourse Park, and revitalising the Butterfly House at the Botanical Garden.

Separately, the PHA has also announced plans to establish a public sculpture garden at the Nasser Bagh. The sculpture park will comprise an outdoor garden featuring sculptures and other artworks crafted from durable materials within landscaped surroundings.

Expected to be operational by early next month, the proposed facility will operate in conjunction with The Barracks.

Initially, the department has commissioned renowned artists such as Imran Qureshi, Risham Hosain Syed, Talat Dabir, Shahid Sajjad, Rasheed Araeen, Rashid Rana, Tahir Mahmood, and Meherunnisa Asad for the project.

The concept of a sculpture garden, the piece de résistance of the park, has been in development for many years. The Barracks now aims to expand artistic endeavors within the Nasir Bagh precinct, the PHA spokesperson said.