Quamrul Hasan's Daughter's Rejoinder
I deeply regret to refer to the cover story titled "The good, the bad and the fake" published in the June 30, 2006 of the Star Weekend Magazine.
The report by Mustafa Zaman refers to an exhibition of my father's paintings held at Gallery Shilpangon in 2002 in which he quotes some painters who questioned the authenticity of some of the paintings of the late artist Quamrul Hassan. These accusations are coming after four years of holding of the exhibition. If there are any accusations or complaints regarding authenticity of my father's paintings they should have first clarified the issue with the holder of the paintings and satisfied themselves first by checking and examining the paintings first hand themselves.
The paintings exhibited were all from the collection left behind by my father. It is unfortunate that people who are not aware of this fact have attempted to authenticate of my father's works. No daughter in the world would deliberately defame her father by producing fake paintings. Those who deliberately make fakes do not put the fake works for display in a public exhibition. They hide those from public eyes and sell them in private.
If a group of painters are making fakes of my late father's paintings, there is nothing that I can do. It is up to the law-enforcing authorities to take necessary actions in this regard in order to stop such criminal acts of piracy. The buyers should be advised to verify the genuineness of the paintings by using due care and caution.
The inclusion of my name in the aforesaid news item has caused irreparable damage to me personal reputation and I request you to publish my statement in your weekly magazine to clarify my name.
We regret not including a comment from the artist's daughter regarding the matter mentioned above. Our apologies to her for the oversight. Following the publication of the story, we have further investigated the issue and have found further evidence of fake paintings being sold in the market. We therefore stand by our story. The letter from eminent artist Syed Jahangir, (opposite page) reinforces the information furnished in the story.
The Truth Must be Told
Thank you very much for publishing the article "Art Pirated" in your weekly magazine of June 30, 2006. Mustafa Zaman has written a very courageous, informative and timely article. Copying of paintings of Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hasan and SM Sultan has been going on for many years now. It is very unfortunate that the dealers of these paintings always refer to the family members of the deceased artists as the authenticators of the paintings. Some of these dealers are socially very well connected but basically dishonest and greedy. Many buyers have come to me to ascertain the originality of some of their collections after or even before buying works of reputed artists. I remember an occasion when a buyer came to me one night with four sketches of Zainul Abedin to show me and to find out whether they were genuine or not as I happened to be a direct student of Zainul Abedin and known him closely for many years after my graduation from the art college. The works were all fake and badly drawn, and I told him so. The buyer returned the works right away and collected back his Tk three lakh that he had paid for the drawings. He mentioned that the works had been brought from Kolkata about which Mustafa Zaman has also referred to. About the exhibition of Quamrul Hasan's paintings at the Shilpangan Gallery as mentioned by Mustafa Zaman, I also brought to the attention of the owner of the gallery that many of the works looked spurious and he said, "what can I do, these works have come from the daughter of Quamrul Hasan." I told another friend of mine who was somewhat connected with the exhibition that more than fifty percent of the works were not genuine. He told me, "Jahangir, why involve yourself in it, you will invite uncalled for enmity." But it really hurts me seeing these fake, unworthy works of Quamrul Hasan hanging on the walls of my friends and acquaintances. It is a pity that the future generation may judge Quamrul Hasan, Zainul Abedin and Sultan by the merit of these fake works, when none of us will be there to tell the truth.
I strongly feel and support the proposal of some artists that a committee should be formed with senior artists who had been direct students of Zainul Abedin and Quamrul Hassan for authentication of works of Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hasan and S M Sultan and others. Ministry of Cultural Affairs of The Government of Bangladesh can undertake this responsibility of setting up a committee and oversee the whole affair.
Artist, art critic and Former Director of Fine Arts Department
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
Welcome Home Matiur
The great national hero and the initial dreamer of BAF, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman has arrived home back after sleeping 35 years in Pakistan soil.
He will always be remembered for his courage to break flawless security of PAF and his patriotism. He was shot while he was flying a PAF jet in the skies of Punjab and interred scornfully in a hostile atmosphere in the soil of the enemy. The country is now much more aware of the rights of its freedom fighters. Consequently, though late, the materialisation of the dream of bringing this valiant son back home is very praiseworthy. It sounds pretty awkward that a martyred hero of a liberated nation lies in a foreign land and the people of the nation cannot pay tribute to his grave.
Hats off to the family members of Matiur for organising this initiative. At the same time I want to thank those people who assisted in making this dream come true.
Shaikhul Akbar Eishan
Chuadanga Govt. College
Why not Bagura and Chattagram?
Bagura is one of Northern districts in Bangladesh. In Bangla, we say "Bagura". But why is it spelled 'Bogra' in English? Another city is Chittagong whose correct pronunciation is 'Chattagram'. The English during their rule purposefully pronounced these words wrong. But the English are not in power anymore. They have been driven away from our country. So why can't we change such ugly spellings and pronunciations?
In the West Bengal, the government has changed Calcutta to its original name Kolkata. It is my request to the authority and to the nation to do the same for the name of the cities in our country.
Mohammad Sazzad Hossain
In last week's cover story 'The Science of Making More Food' the acronym for Brac (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) was inadvertently printed Bangladesh Rural Agricultural Committee. We regret the error.
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