Air India's treasure trove of art not part of sale deal

Air India's treasure trove of paintings, artefacts not part of sale deal

Government on Monday invited bids for sale of 100% stake in Air India, the national carrier that has fallen on difficult times due to burgeoning debt

The land and buildings at Delhi and Mumbai airports and the corporate office for running the airline will be given to the new investor on the right to use basis for a limited period. (Credit: Reuters Photo)

The prospective buyer of Air India will not get the treasure trove of iconic paintings and artefacts collected by the national carrier over the years that include priceless creations by masters such as F N Souza, M F Hussain, V S Gaitonde, Anjolie Ela Menon among others.

The value of the coveted collection – that includes paintings, sculptures, wooden carvings, glass paintings and rare textiles – runs into hundreds of crores.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, on Monday, announced that paintings, arts and artefacts will not be part of the transaction of the proposed sale of the airline.

The Civil Aviation Ministry and the Culture Ministry had joined hands to inventorise the collection and the National Gallery of Modern Art may be its final home.

The collection comprises posters, menu cards designed specially for first class passengers, illustrated books for children and exquisite ash tray designed by Salvodar Dali, sketches by renowned cartoonist Mario Miranda.

The collection comprises 40,000 items – most of them are kept at the first floor of the Air India building at Nariman Point in Mumbai, while some are at the regional centres of the airline.

The iconic Air India building has been on the selling block and the then Maharashtra government-led by Devendra Fadnavis had evinced interest in buying it. But, the change in government in Maharashtra has put a question mark on the issue.

The land and buildings at Delhi and Mumbai airports and the corporate office for running the airline will be given to the new investor on the right to use basis for a limited period.

 

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)