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The Naked and the Nude exhibition

New Delhi, Feb 7 (): The Naked and the Nude exhibition at the Delhi Arts Gallery at Hauz Khas that showcases a retrospective on modern nude art was protested by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists and Durga Vahini activists on Wednesday. The exhibition was targeted by the Hindutva activists on Monday. In spite of all protests the exhibition goes on amid tight security.

The show opened on February 1 and it exhibits about 250 works by Indian artists featuring nudes — both female and male — painted since 1900. The exhibition will continue till March 15.

The exhibition showcases the works of Souza, Husain, Varma, Karamkar, Goud and Ara among others. The artwork at the show is collectively worth more than Rs 30 crore and it is a celebration of the body, picked from 100 years of Indian art.

The activists needed a ban on the show as they said that the nude and rude paintings depicted women in bad light.

Hours after the first ever exhibition depicting the naked body in modern Indian art opened on Wednesday, around 50 activists started shouting slogans just outside the secured gallery and they started pushing the fence in an attempt to enter the gallery, which led to a fight with the police.

They chanted, “Stop this display of nudity. We are Indian women and will not tolerate nudity. Do not objectify the woman”. Later, the protesters left the venue with the threat of violence and bigger protests in the weeks to come.

Sanjana Chaudhary, state convenor of Durga Vahini, said, “The display does not represent Indian culture but insults it.”

Reacting to the protests, Ashish Anand, director of Delhi Arty Gallery said: There is nothing wrong with the exhibition. There is no vulgarity. This is Indian artistic heritage. We are disappointed that fringe groups are protesting. Protesters are doing this for publicity. Nudity is a popular theme, not for 100 years but for centuries.