Venkatappa Art Gallery to be rebuilt at Rs 20 crore: Sa Ra Mahesh

Bengaluru: The iconic Venkatappa Art Gallery (VAG) building, constructed by the State Public Works Department (PWD) in 1975, is going to be demolished and rebuilt by the state government because of its foundation issues.

The decision to build the art gallery, inside Cubbon Park, was taken by the state government in 1966. It was named after K. Venkatappa and the space was dedicated to display the works of artist and also to allow them to practice.

Tourism Minister Sara Mahesh told Deccan Chronicle that when he visited the the gallery on Thursday, he saw the building’s foundation sinking. “I have asked for a technical report from the technical wing of the Department of Heritage, based on which we will go ahead with the project,” he said.

VAG has played host to many national and international art shows, including the seventh Khoj International Artists Residency.

Mr Mahesh said that he has already spoken to the Archaeology Commissioner and that they are planning to recreate a replica of the Government Museum at an approximate cost of Rs 20 crore.

He said that the Government Museum, next to the art gallery, is 150 years old and is still in good condition. “There are many relics and other historic artefacts that are stored in the 50 lockers with no space to display them. We are planning to construct two floors in the new building in which one floor of the gallery will be used for museum purpose,” he said.

Mr Stanley Pinto, a citizen activist, took to the social media to comment, “To Pushpamala, Kirtana – and all the rest of ye Wags. VAG is coming down and none of your huffing and puffing to keep it solely to yourselves has helped. And the world-class museum that was going to replace it is coming up anyway, right next door as a slap in its face. The wave you started is ending in a dribble. So rend thine garments, tear your hair and weep. That’s the least you can do to mourn the passing of that which has turned into your crypt.”

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