Venkatappa Art Gallery adoption plan: Protest again on Sunday

Venkatappa Art Gallery adoption plan: Protest again on Sunday

 Members of the Venkatappa Art Gallery Forum will stage another protest on March 20 against the State government for letting a private organisation take over the gallery. This time, they will seek the support of thinkers, writers and theatre artists.

The artists had organised a protest on March 6, demanding that the government scrap the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Tasveer Foundation and Tourism department to adopt the gallery.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Chi Su Krishna Shetty, former chairperson of Karnataka Lalithakala Academy, who is also a part of the forum, said, “The MoU was signed last July, but the prime stakeholders were not consulted. This is an attempt to commercialise the place.”

The Forum members said that it was an unfair adoption and all artists would come together on March 19 for a sketching activity of landscapes in and around the gallery, to highlight the issue. The protest on March 20 will be held in front of the Town Hall at 11 am. Around 500 people are expected to take part.

Artists said that they brought the issue to the notice of Tourism Minister R V Deshpande two weeks back, but so far no action has been taken.

Shetty said that Abhishek Poddar - founder of Tasveer Foundation - intends to showcase his own personal art collection, by adopting the gallery. “His intentions are not in the interests of the State. Our immediate demand is that the government should scrap the MoU. Let the government run the gallery and if they cannot, let them appoint a democratic artists’ committee for the purpose.”

Minister’s promise

VAG Forum members on Thursday met Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree and submitted a memorandum. The minister assured that she will look into the issue at the earliest. The Forum plans to meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah if no action is taken after the protest.

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