28 October, 2020

Restoring A Slice Of History

Gaekwad royals plan to resurrect memories of Raja Ravi Varma

Restoring A Slice Of History

DESOLATION marks out the studio that was once Raja Ravi Varma’s. Close by however, the Maharaja Fatehsingh Museum bustles with humanity trawling for history and art. It’s these souls the museum trust hopes to attract with its plans to celebrate Varma’s centenary with an extended bash by year-end. The studio restoration is likely to cost the current maharaja, Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, some Rs 7 lakh. Add an enha-nced exhibition of Varma’s works (only 24 of the 46 paintings are on display at the museum, the rest are at the Laxmi Vilas palace) which may possibly travel to other metros, put in a lush but limited edition of his portfolio, and the expenditure budget could go up to Rs 20 lakh.

But strung along with the cobwebs in the studio is archival value well worth preserving.  A fact the painter in Gaekwad knows. While applauding the trickle of government funds towards the cause of keeping art and history alive, he rues the absence of a private museum culture in India. "With the restoration of each work costing Rs...



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