Husain’s works draw big crowds at art summit


New Delhi: His is a name to reckon with when it comes to Indian art. And when M.F. Husain’s works were removed and then put back at the India Art Summit, the interest peaked, as was evident by the surging crowd at the Delhi Art Gallery.

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The organisers of the third India Art Summit in Delhi had decided to withdraw Husain’s art works Thursday evening over fears that the Jan 21-23 summit would be vandalised over them.

“Vandals may come in and there could be a stampede because we have received around 20 odd e-mails from various groups from Mumbai and Pune,” the organisers had earlier told the media.

However, they later decided to display the paintings after getting assurance from the Delhi Police over full protection. A sea of khaki-clad cops were seen Saturday at the gates of Pragati Maidan, the summit venue.

The Delhi Art Gallery is showcasing three paintings of Husain at their exhibition space.

Arpita Sinha, an art enthusiast, said she felt vindicated that Husain’s work has been restored at the summit.

“I feel vindicated that spirit of art was not compromised with in the face of threats from thugs. It’s high time we stopped bowing to such threats and vandalism,” Sinha told IANS.

Rakhi Bajaj, a student who visited the summit Saturday, said that she was very keen to see Husain’s paintings.

“He is historic, an icon in the world of art. So I was really keen to check out his paintings. But there were many others who came to see his work because of all the controversy. It was all a matter of curiosity,” she said.