Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, and Shri G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Development of the North-Eastern Region, were present at the collection's handover ceremony.
The Air India Collection's modern and contemporary artworks include works acquired and commissioned by artists such as B Prabha, Shankar Palsikar, Lakshman Pai, Vasudev Gaitonde, M F Husain, and Arpana Caur, among others.
M/o Culture's National Gallery of Modern Art will house the valuable 'Maharaja Collection' of Air India artworks. An MoU for the transfer of the artworks to the NGMA was signed today at the NGMA headquarters in New Delhi. Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, and Shri G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Culture, were present at the MoU signing ceremony. The MoU was signed by Smt. Mugdha Sinha, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, and Shri Satyendra Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Director NGMA Smt Temsunaro Tripathi, Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL) CMD Shri Vikram Dev Dutt, and Ms Kalpana Rao, representative of Air India Ltd. Shri Rajiv Bansal, Secretary of Civil Aviation, and Shri Govind Mohan, Secretary of Culture, were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, stated that India has a 5,000-year history that has been fueled by spiritual forces and moral values. He stated that the Prime Minister has emphasised not only India's economic power but also its cultural renaissance on the global stage.
According to the Minister, Air India was a pioneer in its field. They were not only able to fly the Indian flag high in the sky, showcasing India's capabilities, but they were also able to serve as ambassadors of Indian heritage and culture. He praised JRD Tata for his foresight and role as a pioneer. He stated that the exhibits being handed over to the NGMA do not only include modern art masterpieces, but also a diverse range of exquisite handloom, sculptures, and other art pieces.
In his remarks on the occasion, Union Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy stated that the historic MoU transfers the priceless artefacts collection of Air India since 1953 to the NGMA of the Ministry of Culture. The paintings and artworks will now be returned to their rightful home at the National Gallery of Modern Art, according to the Minister. Shri Kishan Reddy explained that, in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision, the Culture Ministry is working hard to preserve its culture, bring it to the people's attention, and strengthen ties with the youth. The Culture Ministry is constantly working in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of "Vikaas Bhi Viraasat Bhi," he added. Air India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation have worked hard to preserve and protect these valuable artworks, and I pledge that we will do so for future generations, the Minister said. He also revealed that the collection will be shown to art enthusiasts in the near future. He also stated that it will be made available to audiences worldwide via innovative digital interfaces. He thanked M/o Civil Aviation and Air India for their significant contributions to the NGMA's art treasure.
Air India acquired and collected a massive number of valuable artworks from around the world during its eighty-year journey as a commercial airline, including paintings, sculptures, wooden carvings, glass paintings, decorative items, textile art, photographs, and other objects. These works of art will be added to the NGMA collection.
The decision by the Ministry of Culture to purchase the priceless collection and transfer it from the Air India Building at Nariman Point in Mumbai to the National Gallery of Modern Art is historic.
The Air India Collection includes acquired and commissioned work by artists such as B Prabha, Shankar Palsikar, Lakshman Pai, Vasudev Gaitonde, M F Husain, S H Raza, K H Ara, and other founders of the Progressive Art Movement such as the pioneering artist Hari Ambadas Gade. It also includes works of art by living legends such as Anjolie Ela Menon and Jatin Das, which will add to the NGMA collection.