Preserve Mandi School of Painting: Expert
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Tribune News Service
Mandi, April 18
Echoing the demand of art lovers and painters of this temple town, renowned painter Vijay Kumar Sharma (Padma Shri) today urged the government to preserve and protect the Mandi Kalam School of Painting from its "imminent death" by setting up an art gallery here.
Talking to The Tribune, Vijay Sharma, who was the chief guest at the concluding ceremony of a two-day seminar on World Heritage Day organised by the HP RTI Bureau here today, said, "The Mandi Kalam School of Painting is dying a slow death as the government has not done enough to preserve and protect it. The school has a rich heritage and is one of the oldest schools and has been as popular as the Kangra and Chamba schools of painting".
He said it was a pity that there was not even a single art gallery in this town to showcase Mandi paintings to art lovers from India and abroad. "I have seen Mandi paintings showcased in museums and art galleries abroad, but it is dying a slow death in its birthplace," he said.
Sharma said there was need for starting a training school in the town to train young painting enthusiasts.
Mandi Divisional Commissioner Rajinder Negi, who inaugurated the seminar, underscored the need for protecting heritage, including the ramshackle building of Vijay High School. "It is unique because of its Pahari architecture. We need to protect it. Institutions should put in coordinated efforts to protect heritage," he added.
The participants urged the government to set up an art gallery-cum-library in the Vijay Boys School building and declare it as a heritage building.
They also demanded that the main gate of the Tarna temple be declared as a heritage item as it was built to welcome the Dalai Lama in the 1960s.
President and convener of the seminar Lawan Thakur said more than 50 schoolchildren participated in declamation and painting competitions. The theme of the heritage day was sustainable development and role of communities in heritage protection, he added.
TR Sharma, Superintending Architect, Archaeological Survey of India, said the ASI would hold functions in Mandi to celebrate its 150 years.