French honour for Nadia Samdani: Receives Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters medal

16 March 2023, 09:25 pm | Updated: 30 March 2023, 11:46 pm

French honour for Nadia Samdani: Receives Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters medal
Photo: collected

Nadia Samdani MBE, co-founder of Samdani Art Foundation and Dhaka Art Summit, has been honoured with the prestigious ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Ministry of Culture.

The ‘Chevalier’ (Knight) rank was conferred on her through the order yesterday, at the residence of the French ambassador in Dhaka’s Gulshan. The award is given to distinguished individuals for their creativity demonstrated in the cultural sphere or for their support and contribution to the dissemination of knowledge and work that enrich cultural heritage, reports UNB.

The medal was handed over to Nadia Samdani by French Ambassador Marie Masdupuy on behalf of the French government, according to a press release.

Nadia Samdani was bestowed with the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) title by Queen Elizabeth II in 2022 – in recognition of her contribution to art and culture in Bangladesh, South Asia and the UK. Her investiture ceremony for MBE was held at the Buckingham Palace on February 23 this year, where she received her title from Prince William of Wales. Along with her husband Rajeeb Samdani, co-founder and trustee of Samdani Art Foundation, she is the first South Asian arts patron to receive the prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award in 2017.

In 2011, Nadia, with Rajeeb Samdani, established the Samdani Art Foundation to support the work of Bangladeshi and South Asian contemporary artists and architects and enhance their exposure. As part of the initiative, she founded Dhaka Art Summit, which has since completed five successful editions. She is a member of Tate’s South Asia Acquisitions Committee, Tate’s International Council and Alserkal Avenue’s Programming Committee, one of the founding members of the Harvard University Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute’s Arts Advisory Council, and member of Asia Society’s Advisory Committee.

Since 2015 she has been on the ArtReview Power 100 list – recognizing her contribution to developing the art scene of Bangladesh and connecting it to the world. A second-generation art collector, she collects both Bangladeshi and international art, reflecting her experience as both a proud Bangladeshi and a global citizen.

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