BANGALORE: Days after the outcry by art lovers and members of the Karnataka Lalithakala Academy and Shilpakala Academy, alleging that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has ‘poor art sense’, for installing the ‘hideous cement sculptures’ at various junctions in the city, BBMP Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy said, “We will remove the sculptures which do not suit the city. Even I’m aware that the Lalithakala Academy and other art lovers are not happy with the sculptures installed near Race Course and other junctions”.
As a part of a public-private-partnership scheme, BBMP in assosiation with Bharati Cements had installed these chiselled art pieces at Race Course Road, near Freedom Park, Vasanthnagar and Mekhri Circle. While the Palike provided the space, the company installed these sculptures at a cost of `2 crore which will be maintained by them for the next five years.
C S Krishna Setty, Chairman of Karnataka Lalithakala Academy had earlier condemned the poor art sense of BBMP and termed these sculptures as an ‘ugly blot on Bangalore’.
The sculptures were conceptualised and designed by Swordfish Designs. BBMP council had approved the designs fours months ago, after it was pushed through by former deputy mayor S Harish and G H Ramachandra, head of the Standing Committee for Major Works.
Speaking to City Express, Krishna Setty, said “Bangalore is an international city where thousands of people come here. These grotesque statues do not represent anything and are damaging the image of the city, which has many ‘international level’ sculptors.” He said that he will write to the BBMP Commissioner and request him to take necessary action. Defending the sculptures, Anil Manjunath, marketing manager, Bharathi Cements said “We had sought public opinion for this and the BBMP Council too has approved the designs. ‘The Tree of Life’ on Mekhri circle has gained wide popularity and people from the IT and BT sector have given us positive feedback and have even asked us to do more such beautification programmes.” Mentioning that the BBMP officials may not have an in depth knowledge about art and its aesthetics, Krishna stressed for the commissioning of Karnataka Art Commission consisting of eminent and experienced artists, sculptors, art critics and architects.
Pointing out that he has not received any complaints with respect to the sculptures, the Mayor said, “We have received a proposal from another private company to beautify the city. This time, we will surely hold a discussion with all the concerned art academies and seek their opinions before approving anything.”
Speaking to City Express BBMP Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda, said, “Based on the suggestions we receive from renowned artists on the concept and design, we will ensure that the company will follow those instructions