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Delhi Art Gallery refuses to remove nude exhibits, VHP protests to continue

CNN-IBN
Feb 06, 2013 at 08:35am IST

New Delhi: The war of words between the Delhi Art Gallery owner and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad seems to have worsened. Despite facing threats, the organiser of the nude art works says he won't take down the paintings.

Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Delhi Art Gallery Director Ashish Anand said, "We'll continue with the same exhibition and nothing is going to change. The exhibition will continue till March 15. Whatever Husain has painted is the depiction of a human body, there are no gods and godesses, no vulgar manner, so there is no reason why we should be removing Husain's paintings from the exhibition."

ALSO SEE Delhi: VHP's women wing forces art gallery showcasing nudes to shut temporarily

Meanwhile, VHP is also refusing to budge. VHP activists are likely to hold protests on Wednesday too. "We are democratic people and we are expressing feelings in a democratic manner. Our organisation only came into the picture when the administrative machinery failed," VHP spokesperson Vinod Bansal said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, the art exhibition at the Delhi Art Gallery, showcasing a retrospective on modern nude art, ran into trouble when VHP activists forced it to shut down temporarily. The exhibition was resumed after the organisers sought police protection.

ALSO SEE Delhi: Art exhibition of nudes to go on despite threats of disruption

The protests, led by the Durga Vahini, the women wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, objected to the Naked and the Nude exhibition which covers a large span of works ranging from Raja Ravi Verma, Souza, Husain, etc to modernists. The activists wanted a ban on the show as they said that the nude and obscene paintings portrayed women in a bad light.

The protesters objected to the "indecent pictures" that showed women as a mere commodity. "In the light of Delhi's gangrape, this kind of immoral act which depicts women as a sex object should not be allowed," said said Sanjana Chaudhary, state convener of Durga Vahini.

The protesters say they had written to the organisers before the exhibition opened and sent a copy of letter to Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, LG Tejendra Khanna, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, requesting them to get the exhibition banned and arrest its organisers.

The exhibition, 'The Naked and the Nude', which opened in the city this Saturday and scheduled to continue till March 15 showcases around 250 works by artists like Karamkar, Goud and Ara.

(With additional information from PTI)

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