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Lawmaker seeks ‘Sister Cities’ status For Lucknow, Canberra

New Delhi: Deepak-Raj Gupta, an Australian lawmaker of Indian origin, has initiated a campaign to make Lucknow and Canberra “sister cities” after discovering the grave of architect of the Australian capital, Walter Burley Griffin, in Nishatganj cemetery in Lucknow.

Griffin visited the city of Nawabs in October 1935 on an invitation to design the library of the University of Lucknow. He died here in February 1937.

“After discovering late Griffin’s grave here, I strongly feel Lucknow and Canberra should become sister cities,” Gupta, a member of the legislative assembly from Yerrabi in Australia, was quoted as saying.

Gupta was in Lucknow to attend the seventh conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of India Region.

I have proposed that Canberra and Lucknow should be given the status of sister cities,” Gupta added.

Drawing parallels between popular British singer Cliff Richard and Griffin, Gupta said “People know that Cliff Richard was born here (in Lucknow). There is someone who studied here and became famous, and there is someone famous who died here.”

Emphasising on the “sister cities” status to Lucknow and Canberra, Gupta added: “There is a very good reason now (to go for the sister cities status), as the person who designed one city has been laid to rest in the other city.”

“I think if the Uttar Pradesh government and the government of Australia promote this, the place may become an attractive tourism destination,” he was quoted as saying.

The Australian lawmaker also desired that the Uttar Pradesh government should arrange for the installation of a statue of the late architect near his grave.

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