Saturday, 6 June 2009

Bhutan : Construction of Royal Textile Academy to begin

June 5: Culture preservation is one of the four pillars of Bhutan’s developmental philosophy of Gross National Happiness. Textiles, undoubtedly, constitutes an integral component of Bhutan’s unique cultural identity. Apart from this, textile is one of the primary means of income for many Bhutanese women living in rural Bhutan.

To preserve and promote textiles, the Textile Museum was established in 2001 under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck.

In 2005, Royal Textile Academy was founded. After completing almost five years, the textile academy is now looking forward to become Bhutan’s first textile educational centre to educate and train Bhutanese youth on preservation and traditional art of weaving Bhutanese textiles.

The academy premises will be constructed at Chubachu in Thimphu. Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck graced the ground breaking ceremony for construction of the institution this morning. The area is over four acres.

Her Majesty the Queen Mother said the academy is founded with a purpose of promoting and preserving Bhutanese textiles in a much larger scale.

Her Majesty the Queen Mother said the core objective is to provide a national centre offering professional training in weaving design and production along with the collection, conservation and documentation of important artifacts.

The Executive Director of the Royal Textile Academy Rinzin O Dorji said the construction works will start after the monsoon is over. She said main components of the construction project will be a textile school, a textile museum, a textile conservation centre and a central administrative division.

The Executive Director added that construction works will be divided into four phases. The first two phases include the construction of textile museum, plaza, entrances, courtyard and administrative offices.

Under phase three and four, a banquet hall and conservation centre will be constructed. The donor member of the first phase is Mr. Frederik Paulsen, chairman of Ferring Pharmaceutical Company in Switzerland.

The second phase is funded by the government of India. The textile academy is looking for funds for the third and fourth phase.

An estimated sum of Nu 500 million will complete the overall construction works.

Cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, business communities, members from international agencies and government officials attended the event.

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