Beauty queen finalist takes in sights and sounds of Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Zimbabwean Gamuchirai Kujeke has had a whirlwind tour of Malaysia.

One of the 62 contestants of the 18th Miss Tourism International World Final, she has visited Langkawi, got her first taste of durian and had her portrait drawn at the National Visual Arts Gallery here in the past nine days.

"Just by looking at the art displayed here, I realise that Malaysia has such a rich and diverse culture," said the 19-year-old.

The visit was in conjunction with the closing ceremony of the 1Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism 2014 (1MCAT) on Saturday.

Also present was National Visual Arts Development Board chairman Datuk Mahadzir Lokman, who said 1MCAT had successfully carried out 117 art programmes throughout the country this year.

"Through these programmes, we managed to raise RM21mil (S$6mil) just by selling local art," he said, adding that this was a significant increase from RM11mil last year.

"This was achieved with the help of 879 artists and art collectors with deep appreciation for Malaysian art," Mahadzir said.

He also urged the public to participate more in such activities organised by the gallery in support of local artists.

1MCAT is an annual event held since 2010 to encourage tourists to visit Malaysia and invest in contemporary art produced by local artists.

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