The Pakistan National Council of Arts is not responding to the recommendations of former principal of the National College of Arts, Bashir Ahmed, also a noted miniaturist, for restoration of renowned painter Shakir Ali’s 18 paintings and eight drawings housed at the Shakir Ali Museum here.
Interestingly, Mr Ahmad was sent a request by the PNCA itself to treat the collection a year ago.
In response to the PNCA request, Mr Ahmed had sent the evaluation report and recommendations on these artworks but the council did not give any response.
Mr Ahmed when contacted said that there was no response from the PNCA to his recommendations though the council itself had contacted him in this regard.
PNCA Director General Jamal Shah could not be contacted for his stance because he was out of country. Similarly, Shakir Ali Museum Director Ali Amna Pataudi is also abroad.
Mr Ahmed, however, had a proposal, with regard to the new government’s plan to put the Governor House to some other use.
He suggested that such beautiful historical buildings should be used to promote culture and arts, especially the dying arts and crafts to attract cultural tourism.
“In my opinion, tourism should be part of culture department”, said Mr Ahmed, adding that dying arts and crafts of southern Punjab and other areas needed special attention.
The revival of such arts would also be beneficial for the artisans, besides promoting tourism and culture, he added.
Ameeting was held at the Alhamra Art Center, The Mall, on Friday last, to finalise the insurance policy for the deserving artistes -- an initiative of the Punjab government.
Presiding over the meeting, Lahore Arts Council’s Board of Governors chairman Tauqeer Nasir floated the proposal that first of all the aged and ailing artistes should be registered with the LAC for the insurance policy.
It was decided that various steps would be taken for the formulation of insurance policy for the artistes and the process would be made transparent and above board.
The meeting was attended by senior actor Masood Akhtar, veteran artist Mian Ajaz-ul-Hassan, film director Syed Noor, veteran actress Nisho, poet and playwright Amjad Islam Amjad, art educationist Qudus Mirza, cartoonist Javed Iqbal, actor Javed Rizvi, film director Pervaiz Kaleem, Punjab Council of Arts Executive Director Saman Rai and director general of the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture.
The Progressive Writers Association held a session on noted poet of Punjabi language Ustad Daman at the Pak Tea House. The session was presided over by Mushtaq Sufi, whereas the chief guests were Qaim Naqvi and Iqbal Muhammad Iqbal.
Mushtaq Qamar, Aqeel Akhtar, Mudassar Bashir, Inam Nadeem, Zahid Hassan, Rubia Jilani and others expressed their views on Ustad Daman.
They said Daman was a legendary Punjabi poet and Sufi who revolted against British Colonialism through his poetry, besides challenging the dictators in the country after the Partition.
Becoming voice of the Indians struggling for independence, he also wrote poetry against military and civilian dictatorships, they added.
The speakers said that Daman’s main poetic themes were realism, conventional and cultural values, mysticism and folk wisdom.