Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has announced to set up an art gallery at the Hariniwas Palace at Gupkar here to preserve rare artifacts and art pieces. The chief minister made the announcement after giving the Best Book awards to noted writers yesterday at an event organised by J-K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, an official spokesman said here today.
The art gallery will help in properly preserving art pieces and also give people the opportunity to see the rare artifacts, she said. The Best Book awards were given to Narinder Bhasin for Dogri, Muhammad Zahid for English, Choudhary Fazal Mushtaq for Gojri, Ashok Kumar for Hindi, Rattan Lal Shant for Kashmiri, Lobzang Jamspal for Ladakhi, Maqbool Sahil for Pahari and Manojit Singh for Punjabi, the spokesman said.
Urdu literary Aseer Kishtwari was awarded for his book Awliyae Jammu wa Kashmir, he said, adding the chief minister also honoured well known writer Ghulam Nabi Gowher and Bashir Makhdoomi for having donated several manuscripts to the academy.
Speaking on the occasion, Mehbooba called for preserving the rich culture and heritage of the state. “J-K has a rich treasure of art, culture and literature which should be restored, preserved and taken to the future generations,” she said, complimenting the academy for successfully organizing the Ramadan programmes across the state.
Mehbooba appealed people to come forward and donate pieces of art to the academy so that the same are preserved and shared with the people. The chief minister also inaugurated an exhibition of rare Islamic manuscripts and copies of the Holy Quran, the spokesman said. He said these included a Quranic manuscript hand written during the reign of Mughal emperor Jehangir in 1300 hijri (19th Century).
The Department of Libraries and Research had also put some rare Quranic manuscripts on display during the exhibition. Prominent among those was a rare manuscript in Tuluth style with walnut wood binding dating back to very ancient times.
The chief minister evinced keen interest in the manuscripts put on display and directed measures for their proper upkeep and maintenance, the spokesman said.