Singapore, 11 July 2023 – Today, the National Library Board (NLB), Fondation Antoine de Saint Exupéry pour la Jeunesse (The Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation), and the Embassy of France in Singapore marked their continued partnership in promoting deeper appreciation of French literature, history and culture with the unveiling of The Little Prince sculpture at the Punggol Regional Library.
Patrons can check out the sculpture by Mr Arnaud Nazare-Aga, a French artist based in Thailand, at the World and Us Zone of the library. The donation of the sculpture by the Foundation is part of its global commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a classic tale on friendship, love, human nature and life. This bestselling book that has captivated readers worldwide, has been translated to over 480 languages across the globe. Patrons can enjoy NLB’s collection of over 60 translated and adapted versions of this story at the libraries and on the NLB Mobile app, including titles in Singapore’s four official languages – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. There is also a unique interpretation in Singlish, The Leeter Tunku, that brings a local flavour to this beloved tale.
Along with the sculpture and books, patrons can explore and discover more about the story and its themes with reading and learning programmes held in collaboration with the Foundation and the Embassy of France in Singapore at Punggol Regional Library. The programme highlights include:
The unveiling of The Little Prince sculpture at the library today was attended by Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Dr Janil Puthucheary, NLB’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Ng Cher Pong, Ambassador of France in Singapore Her Excellency Ms Minh-di Tang, and Delegate-General of the Foundation Mr Nicolas Delsalle-Mun, the artist and creator of the sculpture Mr Nazare-Aga, along with representatives from the Embassy of France and the Foundation, and children from Skool4Kidz Preschool (One Punggol) and seniors from Precious Active Aging Centre.
Mr Ng said: “We thank the Fondation Antoine de Saint Exupéry pour la Jeunesse for their donation, and the Embassy of France in Singapore and MINT Museum of Toys for their support. We hope that the new sculpture, books and programmes like The Little Prince AR trail, will inspire everyone to explore the story and its themes that still deeply resonate with us today, and discover more about other cultures through the rich and vibrant international collection at the World and Us Zone. We look forward to continued collaboration with like-minded partners to support our patrons’ lifelong learning needs as part of our efforts to build a vibrant Learning Marketplace for all.”
President of the Fondation Antoine de Saint Exupéry pour la Jeunesse, Mr Francois d’Agay said: “This year, we celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Little Prince, one of the most translated books in the world. We are very proud to celebrate this anniversary in Singapore with the unveiling of a statue of The Little Prince at the Punggol Regional Library, and reading activities on the work of my uncle Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his inspiring values. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry inspires us because he speaks to people all over the world, of all generations especially young people, the citizens of tomorrow. His work and his actions embody exemplary values: responsibility, a sense of effort, connection, sharing and respect for others... Humanism is the foundation of his thinking: man must be at the centre of our attention. In this way, the Foundation's actions are inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's universal humanist values, which have an exceptional resonance across the globe."
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About the National Library Board
The National Library Board (NLB) nurtures Readers for Life, Learning Communities and a Knowledgeable Nation by promoting reading, learning and history through its network of 28 libraries, the National Library and the National Archives of Singapore. NLB also forges strategic partnerships that encourage awareness, appreciation and greater discovery of Singapore's history through its rich collections in Singapore and the region.
NLB achieves excellence through innovation, focusing on citizen engagement and co-creation, resource and digital innovation. This creates learning opportunities, greater access to library resources, services, and archival collections, as well as a continual development of innovative library spaces. Established on 1 September 1995 as a statutory board, NLB is under the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).
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About the Fondation Antoine de Saint Exupéry pour la Jeunesse (The Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation)
The Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation was created in 2009, under the aegis of the Fondation de France, by the family of the author of The Little Prince, his admirers and leading figures from the fields of culture, science and aviation.
The Foundation is supported by a patronage committee chaired by the French astronaut Claudie Haigneré, and composed of volunteer ambassadors including: Bertrand Piccard, President of Solar Impulse, and André Borschberg, co-founder of Solar Impulse; Dorine Bourneton, first disabled female aerobatic pilot in the world and writer; Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, artist and fashion designer; and the American film director Mark Osborne.
In the spirit of the French writer and aviator, who promoted a society based on respect for mankind, cultural diversity, solidarity, commitment and individual responsibility, the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation carries out various philanthropic actions aimed at improving the daily lives of young people and helping them to better understand their future.
The Foundation is committed to providing generous, long-term support for local associations in France and abroad, by supporting concrete projects for young people in the fields of education and the environment, with the help of private donors, patrons, partners and goodwill ambassadors.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry is a source of inspiration for all of us, men and women of all generations - especially young people, the citizens of tomorrow. He embodies exemplary values in his work and in his actions: pioneering spirit, commitment, courage, sharing, responsibility, sense of duty, and respect for the planet.
About the Artist and Creator of The Little Prince Sculpture
Mr Arnaud Nazare-Aga is a French Visual Artist born in Paris in 1965.
Mr Nazare-Aga is a sculptor with a passion for museums and architectural monuments in France and Europe since his youth. At the age of 14, he studied philosophy and meditation in a Tibetan Buddhist centre until the age of 28. In 1982, he directed the decoration of a Himalayan temple, which allowed him to discover the collaborative work of monumental sculpture with Asian and Western artists.
In 2006, he settled in Thailand and in 2010 he founded a large studio to create colourful sculptures with a team of 20 people trained by him. His inspiration comes from the desire to create amazing, fun and joyful forms through sight and touch.
In 2013, the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Foundation for Youth approached him to create sculptures for the blind inspired by The Little Prince, resulting in 34 sculptures, half of which were presented in the dark for an unprecedented visual and tactile experience. His works have been presented in Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea, and are on permanent exhibition at the only Little Prince Museum in the world on Jeju Island since 2022.
From 2020 to 2022, his works were the focus of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry exhibitions, under the High Patronage of President Macron. The exhibitions sites were in Lyon, Toulouse, and Brussels.
Mr Nazare-Aga has been featured in numerous international exhibitions and galleries in Europe and Asia for over 10 years. His largest sculpture is a 4.5-metre high Sumo Totem exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2019.
For the past decade, Mr Nazare-Aga has been showcasing his artwork consistently at the esteemed Gallery Bruno on Tanglin in Singapore. His talent has garnered significant attention, with notable mentions in prestigious exhibitions that he has personally organized, including the monumental Hippop'Art exhibition at the Fullerton in 2016, as well as other solo exhibitions arranged by the renowned Art Porters gallery.
In October 2022, he opened L'Envol Art Space, renovated by the artist and his team over the two years of pandemic, located in the heart of Bangkok. Mr Nazare-Aga’s goal was to present his work in a unique atmosphere and create a meeting place after three years of isolation.
Past and Current Collaborations between NLB and the Embassy of France in Singapore
Date & Time
More than 1,000 French books contributed by the Embassy of France in Singapore as part of the Voila! French Festival in 2015, were made available for borrowing from NLB’s collection. Titles included classical French literature and works on philosophy and the social sciences.
Around the World with The Little Prince AR interactive trail
A seven-stop Augmented Reality (AR) interactive trail featuring the titular character in The Little Prince and selected toys from the MINT Museum of Toys, accompanied with book recommendations from the World and Us Zone and Children Zone.
The Little Prince-themed AR cards redemption
Library patrons can participate in a reading promotion to redeem The Little Prince-themed AR cards, while stocks last.
Mapping the World: Perspectives from Asian Cartography
Mapping the World: Perspectives from Asian Cartography was an exhibition which showcased rare collections from around the world. It ran for five months from 11 December 2021 to 8 May 2022, at the Level 10 Gallery at the National Library Building.
Patrons enjoyed free tours, talks, and map-making workshops, and a new book featuring selected materials from the exhibition.