Dharamsala, September 23
Many paintings displayed in the Kangra Art Museum at Dharamsala have been damaged due to damp weather. Kangra paintings expert Vijay Sharma has expressed concern over the damage caused to precious art works in the museum due to their poor upkeep.
Sharma, a Padma Shree awardee, told The Tribune that his students had created the paintings displayed in the Kangra Art Museum about 10 years ago at the request of the state Art and Languages Department. Earlier, the museum did not have any Kangra paintings on display. “The then Director, Art and Languages Department, had requested us to create some Kangra paintings. My students created replicas of famous Kangra art pieces lying in foreign museums and these were displayed in this museum,” he said.
Sharma said, “My students have told me that due to dampness in the museum, the paintings are getting damaged. Some paintings have also developed fungus. It is unfortunate that even in the Kangra museum that has been specially created for preserving the art of the region the paintings are not being preserved properly.”
Curator of the museum Ritu Malkotia said that all precautions were being taken to preserve Kangra art pieces lying in the museum. She refuted the charge that any major damage had been caused to the paintings.
Meanwhile, sources said that the museum lacked proper equipment and experts to preserve paintings. “Generally, in a place like Dharamsala, which receives very heavy rainfall, dehumidifiers are recommended to be installed in museums to preserve art works. However, dehumidifiers have not been installed in the Kangra museum,” they added.
Various exponents of Kangra art have demanded that famous art works of Nainsukh on display in international art museums should be brought back to Himachal. They also said that the replicas of Nainsukh’s Kangra art works, which were world famous, should be created and put on display in the museum.
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