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UK Hindus seek removal of Hussain exhibition

The UK Hindu Forum has called for withdrawl of an exhibition of the works of Indian artist MF Hussain.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 14:48 IST

The Hindu Forum of Britain has asked Asia House in London to withdraw an exhibition of the works of Indian artist MF Hussain, claiming his "offensive" paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses have outraged community members around the world.

The Forum is also backing efforts of the Hindu Human Rights Group, which will organise protest demonstrations against the exhibition on May 27.

"The exhibition depicting Hindu deities in nude is already causing considerable offence to many of the UK's 700,000 Hindus," Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Forum said on Monday adding that the body will urge Asia House to withdraw the exhibition.

Hindu groups have expressed their dismay over the fact that the High Commissioner of India Kamalesh Sharma chose to inaugurate the exhibition.

Hussain is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year he apologised for a painting in which he sketched 'Bharatmata' (Mother India) as a nude goddess. Following complaints he withdrew it from a charity auction to raise money for victims of the South Asia earthquake.

In 1996, three of his paintings depicting Hindu goddesses in the nude began attracting the ire of Hindu groups in India. Complaints against the paintings of Saraswati, Draupadi and Sita have been investigated before but have not resulted in criminal charges.

First Published: May 23, 2006 10:27 IST