Amol Palekar hits back at NGMA, storms out of meet af­ter his re­marks spark row

The Asian Age - - Front Page - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Vet­eran ac­tor Amol Palekar, who was last week in­ter­rupted dur­ing his speech by some mem­bers of the Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art ( NGMA) in Mum­bai, on Sun­day said that the di­rec­tor of the NGMA told him that he should have in­formed her what he was go­ing to speak be­fore the pro­gramme. He said that he was only try­ing to seek rea­sons be­hind the can­cel­la­tion of ret­ro­spec­tives of two se­nior artists.

Ret­ro­spec­tive is an ex­hi­bi­tion or com­pi­la­tion show­ing the de­vel­op­ment of an artist’s work over a pe­riod of time.

At the open­ing of an ex­hi­bi­tion in the mem­ory of artist Prab­hakar Barwe on Fri­day evening, Palekar was re­peat­edly in­ter­rupted dur­ing his speech by some NGMA mem­bers. A video avail­able on so­cial me­dia showed Palekar crit­i­cis­ing the min­istry of cul­ture for re­port­edly scrap­ping the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees at the gallery’s Mum­bai and Bengaluru cen­tres.

The ac­tor- film­maker told re­porters in Pune on Sun­day that the artistes’ ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee at NGMA had ap­proved hold­ing of ret­ro­spec­tives of three artists, of whom Prab­hakar Barwe’s work was in­au­gu­rated.

“But I came to know

that with­out any com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the com­mit­tee, the next two ret­ro­spec­tives have been can­celled by Mum­bai NGMA’s new di­rec­tor Anita Ru­pa­vataram. I wanted to raise these is­sues. How and when these de­ci­sions were taken, we wanted to know,” he said.

“It is shock­ing. Pro­pri­ety of my com­ments is be­ing ob­jected to by NGMA. As I was talk­ing about NGMA at their own venue and in­vited by the gallery it­self, how can it be im­proper?” he won­dered.

The NGMA de­nied Mr Palekar’s al­le­ga­tion that the ad­vi­sory panel of the gallery’s Mum­bai and Bengaluru cen­tres have been scrapped.

NGMA’s di­rec­tor gen­eral Ad­waita Gadanayak said, “The ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees of NGMA Mum­bai, Ban­galuru and Delhi have not been dis­solved. Their terms have ended re­cently and they are in the process of be­ing re­con­sti­tuted.”

Amol Palekar

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