Artists protest against plan to raze Venkatappa Gallery

An unrest is brewing among the artists against the state government’s decision to demolish the iconic Venkatappa Art Gallery on Kasturba Road, in the heart of Bengaluru. Under the banner of the Venkatappa Art Gallery Forum, a large number of artists on Wednesday registered their protest against state government’s decision.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru noted artist Alka Rao said, “This is the only art gallery owned by the state government to exhibit the artworks of the artists from the state and we will not allow it to be razed. The artists’ community will suffer from the decision.

The government, rather than demolishing must take up renovation work.” DH had reported about the government’s decision to raze the gallery on November 16. “The archaeological department is tight-lipped on the issue. But the state government without even consulting the stakeholders, unilaterally deciding to bring down the gallery is unfair.

Not a single meeting was held with the artists of the state pertaining to the issue,” said Sheela Gowda, another artist. Suresh, another prominent artist said, “The government, rather than rebuilding it at a cost of Rs 20 crore, can renovate it with minimum funds and the rest may be used to open an art school in Dharwad.” Krishna Shetty, another artist cautioned that previously the entire artists’ community in the state had rallied against the state government for trying to privatise the gallery.  “If the government does not drop its idea to demolish the gallery, we will fight on,” he said.

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