Wife gets back paintings of noted painter

September 27, 2020

Islamabad : Mery Shemza has thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and national heritage minister Shafqat Mehmood over the sought-after return of five drawings and five paintings of her husband and noted...

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Islamabad : Mery Shemza has thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and national heritage minister Shafqat Mehmood over the sought-after return of five drawings and five paintings of her husband and noted painter, Anwar Jalal Shemza, by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts after a long wait.

According to PNCA director general Dr Fouzia Saeed, Mery Shemza had loaned those paintings to the PNCA 35 years ago.

"This [return of paintings] should have been done decades ago. Keeping someone’s artwork by force without their consent or remuneration is violation of artist’s rights. Both PNCA and Mery Shemza are clear that paintings were loaned for some time and were to be returned. These two are the main stakeholders and therefore, matters should not be complicated. PNCA’s Board gave a unanimous decision on this issue," she said in a statement.

The PNCA head said Mery Shamza had asked for the return of paintings many years ago but Ghulam Rasool, a famous artist and at the time the person in-charge of PNCA and the National Art Gallery, offered her Rs40,000 for the paintings.

"The offer of a price to purchase the paintings on a PNCA letter head, properly signed, itself is yet another proof that the paintings were not gifted as now being claimed by some trouble making factions," she said.

The PNCA DG said in 2017, the woman sent a legal notice to the then council head, but to no avail.

She said Mery Shemza had finally got paintings and drawings and had written a letter of thanks to the heritage minister and the premier over it.



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