Showing posts from September, 2018

Thoughts on The Idol Thief

Sripuranthan Nataraja (courtesy: The Hindu) Colonialism and imperialism, as the leftists would often argue, continues to manifest itself in many ways, even as the colonies are long gone. A fundamental manifestation in today's times are these galleries, museums and private collections dotting the global art landscape. Sujit Sivasundaram in his book ‘ Islanded’ had noted how the Britishers tried very hard to occupy the place of the Tri-Simhala Kandyan Kings of Sri Lanka by undertaking grand projects of legitimacy. One aspect of that was the blatant cultural appropriation by the British to show themselves as patrons of art through two primary ways - commissioning art works for their own glorification akin to the kings, and also to 'restore and protect' heritage of the past of the occupied lands. Further, much damage was undertaken in many colonies - the Taj Mahal was also up for sale but for the pittance being received for its 'inferior' marble. One standard wa