August 23, 2008

Maqbool Fida Husain threatened by Hindu groups for his paintings of nude gods and goddesses

In The Guardian Randeep Ramesh reports that Maqbool Fida Husain, one of India's most famous living artists, was conspicuous by his absence from the country's first art fair which opened yesterday in Delhi. "Backed by Sotheby's and the government, the Indian Art Summit is a sign of how quickly attitudes to art have changed in the country, while political views have not. Prices of Indian art have skyrocketed in the past five years with paintings by Husain easily fetching $1m (£538,000)- staggering for a country where average incomes are less than $1000 a year. But Husain has just spent his 93rd birthday in self-imposed exile, forced out by threats from Hindu groups enraged by his paintings of nude gods and goddesses. Instead of his beloved Mumbai, Husain now lives in Dubai and London. He told The Guardian that he would 'love to return home' but faces 'three thousand legal cases which have been lodged against me in the past eight years. I cannot speak about them because I would be in contempt of court.'" Read more.

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