The owner of Madame Tussauds, Merlin Entertainments, has announced that it will open its new venture for Bollywood stars in India's capital city of New Delhi as part of the India-UK Year of Culture in 2017. The announcement follows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the UK.
The museum's owners will be investing £50m ($76m) in India over 10 years and will bring its attractions such as Sea Life aquariums and Legoland Discovery Centres to Indian cities. Prime Minister David Cameron said that a Shakespeare First Folio, treasures from the British Museum and a copy of the Magna Carta will go on an India tour for the cultural exchange that is to take place in 2017.
"The great partnership between India and the UK extends beyond economic ties to the boards of The Bard and the beaches of Bollywood. We have some of the best cultural exports in the world - and it's about time we celebrated this, together," Cameron was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.
"To mark the start of this cultural pairing, the British Library will be digitising 200,000 pages of their South Asian archives. Two centuries of Indian print will be part of a major programme to make the wealth of Indian printed books held by the British Library dating from 1714 to 1914 accessible to anyone around the globe," he added.
Cameron announced that in 2017, festivals will be organised to celebrate India's 70th independence anniversary and the cultural ties between the two countries. Besides, the best institutions from the UK will be collaborating with India to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the two countries.
Around 400,000 people from India visited the UK in 2014. Moreover, Indian tourists who visited UK in the first half of this year spent £199m.