Culture ministry unhappy at Husain’s exclusion from art summitAugust 22nd, 2008 - 1:23 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) In a late night development Thursday, the culture ministry objected to eminent painter M.F. Husain’s works not being displayed at the India Art Summit here saying the absence of his works would not reflect the “true art scenario of India”.The three-day India Art Summit, being held at the Pragati Maidan, kicks off Friday.
In a statement, the ministry said: “M.F. Husain is one of the most prominent artists of the country and the absence of his works at the India Art Summit will not reflect the true art scenario of India.”
“As far as the present India Art Summit is concerned, the ministry of culture will be happy if all major artists, including the paintings of Shri M.F. Husain are displayed at such an event.”
The ministry said its attention was drawn to reports that Husain’s works are not being included in the summit. The ministry said in a statement that while it welcomes all attempts at creativity, “it has not been consulted regarding the artists whose works are to be displayed at the summit”.
“In fact, the ministry of culture has recently invited M.F. Husain as a member of its National Culture Fund Council.” The council is a public/private partnership to generate funds for maintenance of monuments.
More than 200 stakeholders, including 34 galleries, will come together at the Pragati Maidan fairground to showcase 400 works of art and interact with a new segment of investors during the summit.
The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), in a gesture of solidarity with the Husain, has decided to organize an exhibition showcasing only his work. The exhibition will coincide with the summit.