Govt. denies scrapping NGMA Advisory Committees, says their terms had ended

The Government has denied actor Amol Palekar's allegation that the advisory committees of National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Mumbai and Bengaluru had been scrapped after a controversy broke out over NGMA officials interrupting his speech at an event in Mumbai on Friday.
A video posted on social media showed Palekar, 74, criticising the Ministry of Culture, during the inauguration of an exhibition in memory of artist Prabhakar Barwe for allegedly scrapping the advisory committees at NGMA's Mumbai and Bengaluru centres.
Later, on Sunday, Palekar said he was only trying to find out why the retrospectives of two senior artists in Mumbai had been cancelled.
"The Advisory Committees of NGMA Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi have not been dissolved. Their terms have ended recently (Mumbai and Bengaluru committee terms ended on 15 November 2018 and of Delhi on 17 January 2019). The committees are in the process of being reconstituted," a statement from the Ministry said on Sunday evening.
The statement also made it clear that the recommendations of previous Advisory Committees (which are up to December 2019 for NGMA, Mumbai) would be honoured and exhibitions of artists will be held as proposed. The new advisory committee will take a decision relating to future exhibitions, it said.
"Regarding permanent collections, it is clarified that NGMA proposes to display its own collections (including art works by great masters) initially over a two-year period. Some artists have expressed their apprehensions about availability of less space for temporary exhibitions and retrospectives. NGMA is deliberating on suggestions received from artists, and a final decision will be taken shortly in consultation with all stakeholders," the statement added.
The move by the NGMA officials to prevent Palekar from continuing with his criticism came under attack in several quarters, with many of them, including political leaders alleging that this was part of the ruling dispensation's efforts to police people's speech, thoughts and ideas.

(Our News Desk can be contacted at

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