Thrissur: As part of Kathakali maestro Kalamandalam Gopi’s 80 birthday (Asheethi) celebrations, the state will set up a Kathakali theatre here. Speaking at the valedictory function of the four-day celebrations here on Sunday, tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran said the memorial under the tourism department would be named ‘Asheeti Smarakam’. “The talent and dedication of Gopi Asan have made the foreigners call ‘God’s Own County’ as ‘Kathakali’s Own County’ as well,” he said.
Education minister C. Raveendranath said the ongoing special drive to enhance the standards of public schools also envisaged more awareness and interest about the traditional art forms in students. Agriculture minister V. S. Sunil Kumar said he considered it as a blessing to live in the era of a great artist like Gopi Asan. Actor KPAC Lalitha, the chairperson of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, said she had plans to set up a memorial in the name of the late Kathakali singer Kalamandalam HyderAli.