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Kumortuli images are generally ordered well in advance and there a few for off-the-shelf sale. Nowadays, Kumortuli's clientele has extended to America, Europe and Africa, among the Indian communities living there. In 1989, Durga images made out of shola pith by Amarnath Ghosh were flown to Sweden, Australia, Malaysia and Nigeria. The images weighed only three kilograms each and were ideally suited for air travel.

KOLKATA: This year, Ma Durga will sail further than ever before, and her presence will be greeted everywhere - from California in the US east cost to Tokyo in Far East; from Calgary in Canada to Cape Town in South Africa. "As Bengali diasporas spread its wings, so did Durga Puja. Not only is the festival being celebrated in more countries, it is being held in multiple cities and in multiple locations within a city," said artist Amar Nath Ghosh, the most successful exporter of Durga idols. Thirty-three idols worth over Re. 36 lacks are being exported this year, up from 26 idols that fetched Re. 25 lacks last year. And the way orders have been surging in recent years, exports are expected to pip the Re 50 lack -mark next year. This despite the fact that abroad idols are worshipped for at least five years.

The credit of dispatching the first Durga idol made of "SHOLA" goes to one Amar Nath Ghosh of Kumartuli. He has been at it for the last thirty years. The idols are small and extra light but used to be invariably colored white - the basic color of "SHOLA". However, with the growing demand of colors, the artist has devised his unique method. The final products are so breathtaking that the East Coast Museum of New York and Frankfurt Anthropological Museum have preserved them.

Exhibition in this Banga Sammelan moved away from the beaten track of Bengali crafts and concentrated on other fine arts. An award winning exhibition of Bengal's own architecture developed in Santiniketan by Suren Kar under the guidance of Rabindranath was displayed along with unique alpana styles of Shantiniketan. Evolution of Bengali lifestyle and dress was exhibited. Artist Susmita Bando from Massachusetts displayed her paintings. Sample paintings of Saila Chakraborty and Kamal Chakraborty were displayed. Other exhibits included outstanding Bengali Publications of twentieth century, Bengali little magazines, famous cartoons from Bengal, copies of paintings of Anupam Banerjee based on Poet Jibananda's Banalata Sen and Rupasi Bangla along with translations of relevant poems, photographs of Arup Dutta and Deepak Bhattacharyya and graphic compositions of Kallol's Oorbee Roy. Decoration section presented unique creations from shoal by famous shoal artist Amar Nath Ghosh.

Nearly eighty per cent of the community Puja images in Kolkata are made at Kumartuli by lesser known artisans, who strive to make something new and innovative in their sphere of endeavor. However, aloof from the bandwagon of the traditional clay model-maker are Sri Amarnath Ghosh, Anshu Malakar and Kamakasha Bala Pal, pith artisans, who carve pith (shola) images of the goddess for non-resident Indians celebrating Durga Puja festival in different parts of the world. To preserve the cultural identity of these Bengalis, light-weight pith images are packed carefully in wooden crates and flown out from Kumartuli to Sao Paolo, New Orleans, New York, Montreal Toronto, London, Nigeria, Lagos, Singapore, Tokyo and even to Australia. However, no other image-maker has earned as much fame as Ghosh has and many of his creations are on display in museums abroad.

Kumartuli-artisans have also earned fame for exporting idols made of shoal (pith), marshy vegetation. Amarnath Ghosh, a leading shoal-artist of Kumartuli, earned accolades worldwide for his wonderful creations. Now-a-days small fiberglass icons too have won the hearts of Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and many such icons were shipped abroad this year too.

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