Around 15 paintings of M F Husain were sold on Thursday for USD 1.6 million in an auction by Christie's in New York while a noisy demonstration against the controversial Indian artist was going on outside the venue.
Supporters of the Indian American Intellectual Forum held the protest demanding withdrawal the works of the noted artist from the auction, accusing Husain of depicting Hindu gods and goddesses in a "derogatory and vulgar" form.
Husain's paintings were sold as part of an auction of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art.
The protesters said auctioning Husain's paintings amounted to Christie's abetting and aiding hate crime against one billion
"Husain's paintings amount to hate speech against Hindus," "Shame on Husain," and "Husain Fugitive from Law," read some of the placards carried by the protesters during the two-hour demonstration in which Hindu Janjagruti Samiti also joined.
Earlier, the auction house had rejected the demand of the Forum to withdraw Husain's paintings from the auction.
"Art and culture embraces multiple interpretations and re-interpretations of religious and ethnic symbols that are often highly individual expressions," Christie's spokesperson Sara Fox had said.