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France will confer its highest order of merit, the 'Legion of Honour', on legendary film and theatre actor Soumitra Chattopadhyay at the 42nd International Kolkata Book Fair. The honour will be bestowed on the actor -- who starred in many of Satyajit Ray's iconic films -- by French culture and communication minister Francoise Nyssen in Kolkata. "The highest order of merit, the Legion of Honour, will be conferred on the legendary film personality Soumitra Chattopadhyay from the inaugural dais (of the book fair) by our minister of Culture and Communication Francoise Nyssen," French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler said here today. Chattopadhyay, 82, acted in several of Ray's films, including Apur Sansar, Abhijan, Charulata, Aranyer Din Ratri and Sonar Kella. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner, who has also starred in many recent Bengali films such as Bela Seshe and Posto, is a noted theatre actor, too. A French delegation consisting of well known authors and poets led by Nyssen will attend the Kolkata book fair, where France is the theme country. The largest attended book fair in the world, the Kolkata gala will open on January 30 and conclude on February 11. It will host publishers from across the the world, including the UK, USA, Russia, Japan, China, Colombia, Peru, Portugal, Vietnam and Spain. "France, the country of literature and culture, is the focal theme country of the international Kolkata Book fair 2018," Publishers and Booksellers Guild honorary general secretary Tridib Chatterjee said.
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