George Town gets link to Vincent van Gogh city

George Town and Arles are to develop links under a sister-city programme under an agreement with France, signed by the French Ambassador to Malaysia, Frédéric Laplanche, and Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government has signed an agreement for cultural exchanges with France and to link George Town with the French city of Arles, where the painter Vincent van Gogh once lived and produced 300 paintings.

Arles and George Town are both listed by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.

The agreement was signed in the form of a memorandum of understanding between the French Embassy and the George Town Conservation & Development Corporation Sdn Bhd, Bernama reported.

It calls for greater cooperation in arts, culture, heritage and social development and includes exchange programmes for experts and artists, as well as a sister-city programme between George Town and Arles.

Arles is a coastal city in the south of France, on the Cote d’Azure bordering the Mediterranean. The city has a long history dating from Roman Empire days as a province of Gallia Narbonensis, and its Roman and Romanesque monuments are listed by Unesco.

The Dutch impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there.