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Rain wreaks havoc on art

Poor drainage leaves a heritage museum suffering as floods wash out rare, historical artworks
Hindustan Times | By Aakriti Sawhney, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 23, 2013 11:42 AM IST

The city’s art scene is flooded, and it isn’t good news. The Arpana Caur Private Museum, which houses some rare historical artworks that have been declared National treasure, suffered a big blow on Saturday evening. Almost all the works were destroyed by mismanaged floods from heavy rainfall.

Museum authorities say eight-feet high water broke out in the museum from the backflow of the August Kranti Road nala (drain).

"The nala was partly covered for Commonwealth Games. We had gone to court and the Central Environment Committee to prevent this as we had faced this disaster earlier too, at a minor scale, but in vain," says the museum’s owner, artist Arpana Caur, adding, "The overflowing nala has not been cleaned for years despite repeated requests." As a result, what lies floating about helplessly is a collection of some 400 rare paintings and sculptures.

"For four hours, from 3pm, we started begging for a pump to throw out the water; at 9pm we brought our own pump, but there was a powercut at 4am, hindering our efforts to save whatever we could. The MCD van and pump finally came at 6am on Sunday morning. I fear this is going to happen again because the big nalas are never cleaned in time and the backflow comes like a flood," says Caur. When we contacted the officials, MCD and DDA passed the blame onto each other and refused to comment on the issue.
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