New Delhi: An art gallery exhibiting paintings of nude human figures was provided police protection on Tuesday after protests by right-wing groups.

The gallery owner said no painting has been removed since there was nothing objectionable in them. The galley is being provided protection after an art academy in Bangalore was forced to remove "objectionable" paintings of Hindu deities.

"Not one painting has been removed," Delhi Art Gallery owner Ashis Anand said, after a group of right-wing activists said the show -- "The Naked and the Nude" -- was "in bad taste" and put pressure on the gallery to remove paintings of naked human figures by masters of modern Indian art spanning over a century.

"We have sought police protection and policemen have been posted outside the gallery to prevent right-wing groups from vandalising the artwork, bulk of which is rare and old. There is nothing objectionable about the paintings," Anand said.

"It is an extremely important show. The show explores the popular thematic concept of the human body in art and how artists have looked at it as part of their narrative.

Anand said attempts to disrupt the show were a cause for alarm with regard to India's liberal tradition and freedom of artistic expression guaranteed by the constitution."We believe in everyone's right to debate, discus and protest provided it is non-abusive, non-violent and non-threatening. The exhibition will continue," Anand said.

However, Chitra Kala Parishath in Bangalore Monday removed some paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses by artist Anirudh Sainath amid fears of offending religious sentiments. The painter said he was inspired by sculptures in the temples of Khajuraho.


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