Art connoisseurs vow to resist sending artefacts to France
Art connoisseurs said yesterday they would continue to resist the lending of valuable artefacts from the country to an exhibition in Guimet Museum in France.
The group of prominent artists and archeologists at a press conference held at Chitrok gallery in the city reiterated their opposition to the exhibition.
The artists say that there are enough reasons
to fear the country might lose at least some of these very ancient and valuable artefacts forever if they are lend abroad.
Among the alleged controversies surrounding this deal has been the unavailability of the exact number of items going out to the exhibition abroad. The artists yesterday said that the government officials from the Ministry of Culture involved in this transaction are not cooperating with the experts' committee formed to investigate the matter.
They said that there are too many irregularities in the entire transaction altogether.
Pointing out to a report published in a local daily recently the artists said that its been reported that 10 of these artefacts, which are extremely valuable, have already gone missing.
Observing these facts Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury said, It is hard to believe even the government officials involved in the lending cannot say exactly what number of artefacts are being sent to Paris." He said,
"I believe the artefacts would not be returned once they go abroad.
Professor Sirajul Islam also said, "The image of Bangladesh is already very bright abroad, if anybody truly wants to see these artefacts, they can come here and see them. He added, " He said that the government could arrange exhibitions here in Dhaka rather than sending the artefacts to Paris.
The speakers said at the press conference, the country has faced similar situations in the past when valuable art works lent abroad through government deals were not returned to the country again.
Renowned artist Rafiqunnabi pointed out that in the past when the government had send some 30 art works of artist Mohammed Kibria to Yugoslavia, they were never returned to the country.
So our stand is clear, we will not support the allow lending of these invaluable artefacts, he said.
Around 200 pieces of antiquities, including 128 life-size ancient statues, terracotta and copper
plaques, Prajna Paramita scriptures and coins from the Pala, Sen, Gupta and Mayurya dynasties had been selected for the exhibition at the famous Guimet Museum by French archaeologists.
Under a deal signed between the French and Bangladesh governments, the exhibition at the famous Guimet Museum in France was scheduled to have been be held in Paris on October 23 this year.
But several art connoisseurs filed a writ petition to the High Court and the court issued a two-month stay order on the lending. Later, the French ambassador said at a press conference that the exhibition might not be held.
The government has since formed an experts' committee to review the whole process.
Nasir Hossain, assistant professor of the Institute of Fine Arts read out a written statement at the press conference. Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, eminent archeologist AKM Zakaria, Professor Sanjida Khatun, artist Rafiqunnabi, architect Rabiul Hossain and artist Sishir
Bhattachariya were present amongst others at the press conference.