New Delhi: The French government has bestowed the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters on Indian theatre personality Ebrahim Alkazi for his contribution to modern theatre and making it accessible to a wider audience. The 87-year-old was given the honour, the French embassy said in a statement. Alkazi has been supporting the visual arts through the Alkazi Foundation of the Arts.
Alkazi, as head of the National School of Drama from 1962-1977, gave the institute a national character with an all-encompassing outlook that embraced the classical Sanskrit drama, traditional arts, contemporary Indian theatre in Indian languages and Western drama - from the Greeks to the present day. The institute's repertory company, started by Alkazi, took landmark plays in regional languages across the country.
Art Heritage, a gallery for contemporary art, founded by the Alkazi family in 1977, has presented over 250 exhibitions. To mark the honour given to the thespian, rare photographs by celebrated French lensman Henri Cartier Bresson, drawn from the Alkazi Collection, were exhibited at Alliance Francaise.