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More protests by VHP women wing against art exhibition of nudes outside Delhi Art Gallery


Parikshit Luthra,CNN-IBN
Feb 06, 2013 at 02:42pm IST

New Delhi: An art exhibition at the prestigious Delhi Art Gallery has run into trouble with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The VHP's women wing, Durga Vahini, protested outside the gallery against the exhibition that showcases a retrospective on modern nude art on Wednesday.

The show was stopped briefly on Monday after protests by the VHP women's wing Durga Vahini. However, the gallery owner says he won't be cowed down by more threats and will not put down any paintings. "We are going ahead with the exhibition as planned. No art work will be removed. They were saying that we should at least remove MF Husain's paintings. But we said no. There is nothing wrong with these paintings," Delhi Art Gallery Director Ashish Anand said.

The exhibition showcases the works of Souza, Husain and Varma among others. CNN-IBN visited the art gallery to find out the viewers response. "Nudity in art has been a long tradition of Indian art, particularly religious art," a visitor said. "We are here to show our solidarity. We don't want a dialogue with protesters, but are here for freedom of expression," another visitor said.

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.

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 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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