Sunday, July 16, 2017

How the Maharaja became an art lover

Pune: With the uncertainty of privatisation still looming over Air India (AI), Delhibased artist Jatin Das raised havoc early this month with claims that one of his prized paintings lying with the national carrier was stolen. It was reported that Das only realised the painting was not with AI when he was contacted by an art gallery for authenticating the work — a 3 feet x 6 feet painting that was commissioned in the 1990s.

And while Das has set an enquiry about his painting, another section of the art world has begun whispering about an impending distress sale of the artworks owned by AI that are estimated to be worth over Rs 350 cr.

Repeated attempts to reach out to AI were fruitless, with the company steering clear of commenting on the fate of their iconic art collection — built over six decades — comprising nearly 4000 paintings, including modern, contemporary, folk art and miniatures, sculptures, textiles, photographs and antique clocks. AI, along with the Taj Mahal Palace and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), were the three strong corporate collectors through the 1950s and 1960s.
16/07/17 Reema Gehi/Pune Mirror