LONDON: Britain’s Communities Secretary James Brokenshire will hand-deliver a UK student’s award-winning art work to the Indian government on Friday during a visit to India to boost business and technology ties of the country with the Midlands region of England.

The student from Birmingham City University, Anna Kryzhanovska, studying at the Birmingham School of Art, presented a painting of her proposed ‘MagBird’ sculpture at Birmingham Airport shortly before Brokenshire left for three-day India visit on Wednesday evening.

The UK Cabinet minister, who is also the British government’s “Midlands Engine Champion”,is currently in India with the Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street, co-leading a mission of UK companies from the Midlands to India as they seek to further deepen trade links between the UK region and India.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It’s a real pleasure to take this painting to the Indian Government, representing our region’s engineering and research strengths, but also showcasing a great artistic talent.”

Dr Aman Puri, the Consul General of India, Birmingham, said: “We are indeed excited about this project and wish it all the success.”

As well as being presented to Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation, during the UK trade mission to India, Anna’s winning concept will be realised as a sand cast magnesium sculpture next year. It will go on display at Birmingham Airport, where it will be seen by more than 13 million passengers who use the Airport every year.

It is hoped that Birmingham can connect with other global cities by displaying similar sculptures in other airports around the world, including New Delhi.

Furthermore, Anna’s winning design will be showcased to experts at the International Magnesium Association (MIA), the university said.

The competition set by Birmingham City University and Meridian Lightweight Technologies UK (MLTUK) provided engineering and arts students with an opportunity to work closely with professional artists, designers, engineers, industrial partners and global organisations on this project. The judging panel was led by Indian-origin academic Rajinder Dudrah, Professor of Cultural Studies and Creative Industries at Birmingham City University.

Professor Hanifa Shah, the university’s Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Build Environment, said: “Our research into the benefits of magnesium with partners around the world is going from strength to strength, and I am delighted that, with Anna’s artwork, our efforts will be brought to the attention of the Indian Government as part of the first ever Midlands trade delegation to the country.

Birmingham City University and MLTUK agreed a strategic partnership last year, which has seen the two organisations work together in the education, research and development of magnesium use. At 1.8g/cm³, magnesium is the lightest of all structural materials, the eighth most abundant chemical element in the earth’s crust and is 100 per cent recyclable.

However, misconceptions surrounding the element’s properties have seen a historical aversion to designing products with magnesium when compared to less sustainable and heavier metals. This is despite a long-standing ban being recently lifted for the use of high pressure magnesium die casting in aircraft seat construction.



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