Renowned artist M.F Husain, living in self-imposed exile in Dubai, has declined the Ministry of Culture’s request to be a member of National Culture Fund’s council — a trust working with private partners for preservation of cultural heritages in the country.
The ministry had sent the request to the 93-year-old artist in July this year through his son and lawyer. However, there had been no response from Husain.
“We have sent a formal request to the artist but there was no communication from them till date,” said an official of the ministry.
With no response from the artist, the ministry constituted the council last month with people like Rajeev Chandrashekhar, president of FICCI; Sudha Murthy of Infosys foundation; and R.K. Roongta, chairman of SAIL as its members.
“He (Husain) is a prominent artist and the offer was our way of recognising the person and his works. While we are trying to provide him the respect and position he deserves, there is no response from the artist,” the official said.
There was no response when HT tried to contact Husain in Dubai and his son in Mumbai.
Husain, who turned 93 recently, is spending his time in self-imposed exile from January 2006. The artist, whose paintings are worth millions in the art market, left the country in the wake of threats from Hindu organisations for portraying Hindu goddesses in an obscene manner.
The India Art Summit, held recently, chose not to display the artist's paintings fearing protest from Hindutva groups. While civil groups protested the non-inclusion, the Ministry of Culture also came in support of the painter.