Friday, July 06, 2018

Opposition leaders protest plan to move Air India art collection to NGMA

New Delhi: Opposition leaders have thrown their weight behind protests against the Centre’s plan to move the art collection at the soon-to-be-sold Air India building in Mumbai to Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). Congress leader Manish Tiwari tweeted Wednesday, “Why should Air India give its valuable artworks free even to the National Gallery of Modern Art? Why should they not be auctioned? If the iconic Air India building can be sold why not paintings? Why free?”.

Soon, TMC leader Derek O’Brien joined in. “Why should Air India be gifting away artworks worth millions of rupees for free. Be assured, we will investigate. We will act. We are keeping a close watch. Watch this space,” he tweeted. The Maharaja collection, as the collection is called, has over 4,000 works.

The Ministry of Culture clarified Wednesday that the Centre zeroed in on NGMA to transfer the collection by way of donation by Air India since it is the only national institution with a mandate to collect and display Modern art. Culture Secretary Raghavendra Singh told the reporters, “The Ministry of Civil Aviation approached us with the proposal and we are glad to take it on.”
06/07/18 Divya A/Indian Express