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Bal Thackeray’s oil portrait unveiled | Day after, row erupts: Artist expresses displeasure, says her painting overlooked

On the occasion of the 97th birth anniversary of Bal Thackeray, the state government unveiled his oil portrait at the central hall of Vidhan Bhavan.

Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s oil portrait, painted by Thane-based artist Kishor Nadavdekar, was unveiled at the central hall of state legislature building on Monday. Express
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Bal Thackeray’s oil portrait unveiled | Day after, row erupts: Artist expresses displeasure, says her painting overlooked
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A day after Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s oil portrait painted by Thane-based artist Kishor Nadavdekar was unveiled at the central hall of state legislature building, another artist Chandrakala Kadam, who claimed she had got the contract to paint the portrait, on Tuesday expressed her displeasure stating that her painting was overlooked.

On the occasion of the 97th birth anniversary of Bal Thackeray, the state government unveiled his oil portrait at the central hall of Vidhan Bhavan.

The decision to install Bal Thackeray’s portrait was announced by Vidhan Sabha Speaker Rahul Narvekar in the House in August last year. Several artists were asked to submit their quotation. Kadam said her quotation was submitted in the office of state legislature and based on her experience and qualifications she was selected and work order was issued to her to make the portrait.

“The office of state legislature had then issued a work order to me and based on the specifications of portrait mentioned in it I made the portrait and submitted it. It was for installing at the central hall and that was mentioned in the work order as well. It was finalised for unveiling. But at the last moment, another artist’s portrait was installed at the central hall. They said they will install my portrait at CM’s office but I took up the work because it was going to be displayed at the central hall. I would not have opted for it if it was for CM’s office,” Kadam, whose portraits are installed in Parliament as well as Maharashtra and Gujarat legislature buildings. Said.

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Narvekar, however, said that they had got three portraits painted by three different artists which were going to be installed at different locations.

“We had got three portraits done. While one was for central hall, the other was for CM office and the third one for the annual birth anniversary of Balasaheb Thackeray. We had already announced that we have made three portraits to be installed in three locations and her portrait is best suited for CM office. We installed and unveiled one of the three which we thought to be fit for the central hall’s theme. It is not that there is any issue with the portrait painted by her (Kadam). We liked it. She has done a good job.. we appreciate and respect it. But we have to look at the ambience of the place and colour scheme…”

Kadam said that Bal Thackeray had believed in her painting skill and had recommended her to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi for painting a portrait of Hindu ideologue Veer Savarkar, which was installed at Parliament and Gujarat state legislature.

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“Believing in my painting skills, Balasaheb had given me an opportunity to paint an oil portrait in the Parliament of the country and in the Gujarat Vidhan Bhavan. After that, I have done six oil portraits for the Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan. By changing this portrait, they should not insult the trust that Balasaheb Thackeray reposed in me from the point of view of a painter,” she said.

Kadam said that she has been told that her painting will now be installed at Chief Minister’s office. The portrait of Bal Thackeray, which was installed and unveiled at the central hall, was painted by Kishor Nadavdekar. When contacted, Nadavdeka said he had received a call from government officials on January 11 this year and was asked if he could paint the portrait of Bal Thackeray.

“After getting a call, I had submitted the painting. But I didn’t know that it was for installing at the central hall of the Vidhan Bhavan. I got an invite of the function and in fact it was in the function that I got to know that the portrait painted by me was getting unveiled.”

First published on: 25-01-2023 at 04:40 IST
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