Why in the world is Art treasure belonging to Jammu being shifted to Kashmir?

The front page report of a leading in Jammu have claimed a shocking development and if it is true then Jammu is to see another betrayal and quite possibly will not be able to do anything about it. The State Government is shifting Art treasure of Jammu to Kashmir and their reasoning is ‘inadequate storage capacity in Jammu’ combined with ‘suitable weather conditions in the Valley’.

The art collection is an assemblage of significant art gathered over the last 58 years. 58 years is quite evidently a long time to realise that the space may fall short and instead of increasing the space here, which is humanly possible these days, the treasury is being shifted to Kashmir, away from Galleries of the Kala Kendra Jammu to the so called strong rooms of J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages in Srinagar.

As it is Jammu has a dearth of reasons to attract tourism and instead of making Kala Kendra a viable option to attract the art connoisseurs, the chosen way has been to add cultural value to Kashmir. By taking this step, is not the government smacking in our face that Jammu does not need culture and that the citizens of the division are devoid of any taste for culture and arts?

This visible art treasure includes oil painting, acrylic paintings, sculptures, artifacts wooden works, modern Art, Basohli paintings and collection of the works of top artists of the country. J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages is custodian of these art works,  which were on  display in the Kala Kendra gallery.

Just for the knowledge of the concerned citizens of Jammu, this is not hearsay information. A formal order for shifting of this Art treasure from the Kala Kendra Jammu was issued recently and process for the same has been started by the concerned authorities, according to reports in the leading daily.

What is even more shocking is the fact that during the floods, art works stored at Lal Mandi, Srinagar stored alongwith historic manuscripts and other valuable things kept there. Most of the items faced irreparable damage

Guess where is Jammu’s art going to find space? Lal Mandi!

If Hot weather conditions can actually impose so much damage, then would it not be simple to install Air-Conditioners? ACs are a norm at every gallery in the world alongwith other specialised methods that are employed to keep artwork safe and secure.

The art collections, being shifted from the Kala Kendra, include 300 paintings, 91 miniatures, 34 artifacts, 80 sculptors and a number of rare photographs according to the report.


The Art gallery’s director says that there was a request made for freeing up space but he claimed no knowledge of the art work to be shifted to Kashmir.

Culture and Education minister says, the order was taken during governor’s rule.

Inputs from Daily Excelsior

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