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Well-known artist and freedom fighter Shahabuddin Ahmed of Bangladesh will stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan as an 'Artist In-Residence' for five days beginning February 18. He is the first foreign artist to live in Rashtrapati Bhavan as a guest of President Pranab Mukherjee. Shahabuddin is a celebrated international artist whose works are in collection of the Museum of Bourg-en-Bresse in France, the National Museum of Bulgaria, the Olympic Museum of Lausanne in Switzerland, the Seoul Olympic Museum in Republic of South Korea, the National Museum of Taiwan, Bangladesh National Museum and many other galleries and private collections. He has exhibited around the world and his works include recurring portraits of Gandhiji and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Shahabuddin considers Rabindranath Tagore and Mother Teresa as sources of inspiration. He will stay as an Artist In-Residence from February 18 to 22, according to a press release issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan today. Shahabuddin was a platoon commander who fought in the Liberation War of Bangladesh when he was 21 years old. He was close to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Shahabuddin was the first to host the flag of Bangladesh on the roof of the then Pakistan Radio on December 16, 1971. A solo exhibition of his works titled 'Shanti' will be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Art Gallery in collaboration with Kolkata-based Ganges Art Gallery during the period of his stay, the release said. All visitors to the museum can see the exhibition. "Entry for all is from Gate no. 30 which is opposite Talkatora Garden," it said. The 'In-Residence' programme was launched by President Mukherjee on December 11, 2013 with the aim of providing writers and artists an opportunity to stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The programme seeks to provide an environment which will inspire creative thinking and rejuvenate artistic impulses. Prominent Artists In-Residence who have stayed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan so far include painters Jogen Chowdhury (MP, Rajya Sabha), Paresh Maity and Jayasri Burman.
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