Cultural affairs ministry not cooperating | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 14, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 14, 2007

Paris Artefacts Show

Cultural affairs ministry not cooperating

The committee to assess the procedure for sending artefacts to the Guimet Museum in Paris for exhibition has alleged that the officials at cultural affairs ministry are unwilling to cooperate with it and provide necessary documents.
In a letter to the cultural affairs secretary on November 5, the special committee said, "It is visible and apparent that the [cultural] ministry is unwilling or unable to cooperate with the committee."
The committee headed by Prof Momin Chowdhury, teacher of history at Dhaka University, also said, "It would not be desirable to go ahead with the exhibition under these circumstances."
The government formed the committee on October 25 as several art connoisseurs complained of an "improper" procedure for sending 187 artefacts to Paris and filed a case against the decision. The committee has since sat twice with cultural ministry officials and asked them to provide necessary documents, including the list and description of the artefacts and their photographs for verification.
The letter of the committee said the ministry officials had brought files at the meeting but did not share information with the committee members. They also could not show any video document of the artefacts. They however presented some photographs, but those were deficient in identifying the artefacts, the committee members alleged.
They also said if the ministry can assure and convince the committee that there will be full cooperation and bona fide commitment, then they would be in a position to address the serious flaws in the procedure of sending artefacts and solve the problem.
The other committee members are Shah Sufi Mustafizur Rahman, chairman of archaeology department at Jahangirnagar University, barrister Tania Amir, DU history professor KM Hossain, Major Md Shamim Iqbal Mia and Major Akhlakuzzaman.
The exhibition at the Guimet Museum was scheduled for October 23 but was deferred for three-four weeks as a case against sending of the artefacts was pending in the court.
After disposal of the case, the government was all set to send the archaeological masterpieces to France on October 13, but law enforcers resisted the move as another case was filed meantime.

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