Handing it over isn’t only solution: Citizens

 30th March 2016
VR Suresh Simha, a project consultant, has fond memories of visiting Venkatappa Art Gallery (VAG) as a teenager, which is why isn’t on board with the state government’s plan to hand it over to a private party . “I wouldn’t want to see it turning into a commercial space that has little room for local artists,“ he says.Like Simha, many Bengalureans are not convinced that adoption by a private party is the best option for the city’s only government-run gallery. “Utilizing private donations for the development of the gallery is welcome, but the gallery must continue to be managed by the government,“ says Amith Amarnath, a law student at Christ University .

Artist and IT professional Bhama Sridharan says the gallery is an affordable space for artists from all classes. “As an artist I know the value of having a place like VAG which provides access to all kinds of artists. If given over to a private party, this access will be reduced and many artists would suffer,“ says Sridharan.

Sruthi Kedia, founder of Decent Neta, an opinion portal on politics, points out that there are two sides to the issue. “The adoption has benefits. For one, there will be better facilities at the gallery bu t the private par ty shouldn’t curb artists’ expression,“ she says.

Instead, suggests retired professor MK Jagannath, a group of senior artists could come together and form a trust along with the government to run the gallery . “It could solve many issues that the gallery is facing with regard to infrastructure and maintenance.“