India is privileged to be associated with the redevelopment of the iconic Olympus theatre, says the High Commission of India.
This was revealed in a press release issued on Sunday by the High Commission of India.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih officially reopened the Olympus theatre in Malé on Saturday evening, after it was renovated and upgraded with modern facilities under Indian grant assistance.
In the statement, the high commission highlighted that the neighboring country is privileged to be associated with the redevelopment of this “iconic” theatre through a grant assistance of MVR eight million under its High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) scheme.
Under the scope of the project were renovation works, installation of modern facilities, studios and equipment to provide state of the art facilities for the artist fraternity of the archipelago nation.
Highlighting that the project will greatly improve the facilities for artists to explore and better utilize creativity and technology in production and distribution, the high commission added that the higher quality in film screenings as well as regular music and theatre shows will increase the audience engagement and in turn benefit the artistes’ community financially.
As such, it is expected to go a “long” way in the revival of the local theatre and concert scene.
The high commission went on to note that among the pillars of the bilateral partnership between Maldives and India include cooperation in the cultural domain and the Indian Cultural Centre in Malé organizes several activities including music classes, which sees “enthusiastic” participation from Maldivians.
The high commission is also working closely with the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage to realize other significant projects including the restoration of the Hukuru Miskiy in Malé, development of a Cultural Centre in Dhangethi island in Alif Dhaal atoll, development of a site-museum in Landhoo island in Noonu atoll, and restoration of the Dhiyamigili Palace in Thaa atoll.
Further, the high commission said that the re-development of the Olympus theatre is an “excellent” example of projects advancing in socio-economic development that are being implemented across Maldives under the development partnership between the two countries.
The statement goes on to read that the neighboring country is supporting 46 such projects spread across 16 atolls and 36 islands through grant assistance.
It notes that out of these projects, 23 have already been completed, including the renovation of the Olympus theatre.
India committed to extend a further MVR 100 million (USD 6.5 million) to take on additional community welfare projects in the Maldives as part of the recent visit conducted by Minister of External Affairs of India Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
Last nights's event also saw Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Yumna Maumoon and High Commissioner Munu Mahawar delivering remarks , followed by performances by multiple Maldivian artists.
Further, ‘The Aniruddh Varma Collective’ from India also performed at the ceremony.
The first and oldest building dedicated to performing arts and entertainment in the Maldives, the Olympus theatre was built in 1959.
Listed as a national heritage, Olympus has been the nucleus around which the art and cultural movement in the Maldives has blossomed since 1960s to the present day.
Olympus has provided a platform for local artists including actors, filmmakers, musicians and playwrights to develop and display their talents for decades.
In its formative years, Olympus has encouraged the development of the Maldives’ music scene and supported the Dhivehi film industry.