India Art Summit: Husain's paintings withdraw


Fatima Karan,CNN-IBN
Jan 25, 2011 at 11:19am IST

New Delhi: Paintings of MF Husain were taken down at the India Art Summit by the art gallery displaying them on Thursday, after the gallery owner allegedly received threatening messages.

Husain has been living in exile abroad for the last five years following alleged threats by saffron groups.

Those behind the messages said Husain's works shouldn't be showcased as he had offended Hindu sentiments. Saffron groups had in the past protested against Husain's alleged blasphemy of Hindu deities.

First time in about three years, works of MF Husain were to be displayed on a public platform.

Husain's paintings were not included in the previous editions of the Summit in 2008 and 2009 because organisers had expressed their inability to give protection.

The paintings - 3 framed canvases were up through most of Thursday but were removed around 7 pm.

Ashish Anand, the Director of the Delhi Art Gallery, said that despite threat mails from different groups, there is hope for display of husain's artwork. "There is a lot of police protection and I think we have around 200 policemen at the India Art Summit. But the organisers feel that the vandals may come in and there could be a stampede because we have recieved around 20 odd emails from various groups from Bombay and Pune. So has the India Art Summit."

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