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New library at French cultural centre

KARACHI, May 5(Dawn): A new library/mediatheque and an art gallery were opened at the Alliance Francaise on Friday.

French ambassador Regis de Belenet performed the opening of the new extended premises, which the officials called the first phase of an ambitious project, which will culminate with the construction of an auditorium in the second phase. French consul-general Pierre Seillan was also present on the occasion.

Alliance Francaise is part of the network of the French embassy in Pakistan and also a part of the worldwide network of Alliances.

Among the four Alliances in Pakistan, the Karachi branch is the oldest. The opening of the two cultural establishments was adorned with an exhibition at the new gallery in which artworks of 16 artists were put on display.

According to the organisers, both places would be open to the public with the sole purpose of encouraging scholars and artists. "The basic mission of Alliance Francaise is the dissemination and teaching of the French language to the largest possible number of people and the diffusion of French culture and Francophonie in Pakistan," said an organiser.

The library at the Alliance has one of the richest collections of French books and journals in Pakistan. With the new addition, it has now more than 10,000 books, hundreds of film DVDs and audio CDs. It has also subscribed to all major French magazines, newspapers and periodicals.

"Our purpose is to encourage French and Pakistani cultures here because France is strongly committed to cultural diversity," said an organiser.
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