Art Laws of India | Deconstructing Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972
Conference
Art Laws of India | Deconstructing Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972
09 Aug 2019 to 10 Aug 2019
LOCATION
Piramal Learning University, Agastya Corporate Park, Mumbai, Maharashtra
RSVP
artfoundation@piramal.com
TIMINGS
9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry Fees
INR.999 - 1999/-
Conference Agenda

9.30am to 10.00am

Registration

10am to 10.15am

Welcome Address By

Ashvin E. Rajagopalan and Pramod Kumar KG

10.15am to 11am

Keynote Address

The Paradoxical Collapse of the Frameworks to Enable Personal Claim to Cultural Property

Naman P. Ahuja

11.00am to 11.30am

Tea Break

11.30am to 12.15pm

ASI and the Antiquities Act

The Role and Purview of ASI in Relation to the Act and the National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities

ASI Representative in conversation with Pramod Kumar KG

Parallel Breakout Session

Seized!*

Examine Cases of Antiquities Seized under the Act

Brijeshwari Gohil

12.15pm to 1.00pm

Words of the Ritual Texts

The Agama Shastras on the Creation, Use and Disposal of Ritual Objects in Temples

Pradeep Chakravarthy in conversation with Dr. Annapurna Garimella

Parallel Breakout Session

Demystifying Registration Documents

Try your hand at Decoding the Registration of Documents under the Act

Dhwani Gudka

1.00 pm to 2.00 pm

LUNCH

2.00pm to 2.45pm

Curating for Provenance

Creating a Framework for New Acquisitions

Deepthi Sasidharan in conversation with Tasneem Mehta

2.45pm to 3.30pm

Antique: A Few Propositions

The Many Lexicons of the 'Antique’

Dr. Annapurna Garimella

Parallel Breakout Session

Is there a Case for the Kohinoor?

The Hypothetical Diamond: The if, how and why of bringing the Kohinoor back

Shaleen Wadhwana

3.30pm to 4.00pm

Tea Break

4.00pm to 4.45pm

Affected by the Act

Foregrounding the Range of Stakeholders – Collectors, Specialist Dealers of Antiquities and Auctioneers – affected by the Act

Deepak Natesan, Aditya Ruia, Mallika Sagar and Dr. Alka Pande

9.30am to 10.00am

Registration

10.00am to 10.45am

Policing Art & Antiquities

The Origin and Evolution of the Antiquities Act

Siddharth Mehta

10.45am to 11.15am

Tea Break

11.15am to 12pm

Navigating Antiques

Navigating the Challenges in Owing, Buying and Selling Antiquities

Siddharth Mehta

12pm to 12.45pm

Implementation and Amendments

The Challenges of Implementing the Act and Need for Reform

Dr. Tejas Garge in conversation with Deepthi Sasidharan

Parallel Breakout Session

Whose Property?

Understanding Copyright and Intellectual Property for Arts and Antiquities

Tanvi Misra

12.45pm to 1.30pm

LUNCH

1.30pm to 2.00pm

Kurla Gallery Walkthrough

By Madhura Wairkar

2.00pm to 2.45pm

An Open Market in Art

Peril and Promise

Girish Shahane

Parallel Breakout Session

Provenance Matters

Tracing the Provenance through the Works of Raja Ravi Varma

Ashvin E. Rajagopalan

2.45pm to 3.30pm

Producing a Religious Object

An Anthropological Study of the Shia Panja in Islam

Sarover Zaidi in conversation with Vaishnavi Ramanathan

Parallel Breakout Session

National Treasures

The Temple, the Palace and the Government

Kanika Pruthi

3.30pm to 4.00pm

Tea Break

4.00pm to 4.45pm

An Ephemeral Inventory

Databases and Technology as Untameable Safeguards

R. Prakash in conversation with Dr. Alka Pande

4.45pm to 5:15pm

Forging the Way Forward

Preparing a Case for the Future of the Act and Protecting our Cultural Heritage

Ashvin E. Rajagopalan, Naman P. Ahuja, Pramod Kumar KG, and Siddharth Mehta

5.15 pm to 5:30pm

Concluding Remarks and Vote of Thanks

Ashvin E. Rajagopalan and Pramod Kumar KG

The two-day conference at Mumbai shall examine ‘The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972’ from within contemporary realities and its implications on the practice of collecting and studying material culture in India. Speakers presenting at the conference include stakeholders from government agencies, academics, archaeologists, journalists, curators, owners of private museums, heads of public art institutions, representatives of religious institutions, legal experts, art dealers, and owners of private corporate collections. The conference will also include researched case-studies on important on-going legal cases involving museums, royal families and multiple stakeholders enabling debate and dialogue over practical challenges caused by the law. The twin praxis of informed opinion and real-life case studies shall allow for the creation of a broad-based platform that covers all sides of this debate.

About Conference

‘The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972’ is the principal act that governs the free movement of art objects within and outside the boundaries of India. While the act was enacted primarily to prevent smuggling and fraudulent dealings in Indian antiquities, its mandate also extends to the compulsory acquisition and preservation of objects perceived as important to the nation in public places.

The founding of the Act was based on archaeological mandates, with little engagement with other groups and stakeholders such as litterateurs, historians, anthropologists and curators who provide alternative and valuable insights into our material culture and the impact of the act on those who possess such art objects. This has led to several controversial cases of overreach by official agencies, including the confiscation of art objects from private and public collections, arrests of prominent art dealers, media trials, and harassment of collectors. What was thus valid at the time of Independence, no longer fits with the requirements, reality and needs of a confident modern-day state that seeks to celebrate its past.

The end goals of the conference are first, the drafting of a white paper on suggested amendments to ‘The Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972’ that shall be submitted to the Ministry of Culture. A second goal to be realised a year down the line shall be the creation of an exhibition articulating the nuances of the Act. This exhibition shall help disseminate and make accessible to the larger public issues raised at the conference and the urgent task at hand of amending ‘The Antiquities & Art Treasures Act, 1972.’

Keynote Speakers
Naman P. Ahuja
Naman P. Ahuja

Naman P. Ahuja is a curator of Indian art, Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Co-Editor of Marg Publications. His studies on ancient terracottas and other small finds have drawn attention to the foundations of Indian visual culture and led to various publications and curatorial projects that explore the aesthetics of Indian iconography, transculturalism in antiquity, as well as the historiography of the Arts and Crafts Movement. His latest book, Art and Archaeology of Ancient India: Earliest Times to the Sixth Century presents a comprehensive catalogue of the collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Speakers
Aditya Ruia
Aditya Ruia

With over three decades of experience in the Fine Arts and Crafts sector, Aditya Ruia has been an avid collector of the Classical Arts and advisor to private collections and auction houses. Earlier, a decade was spent giving contemporary context to Indian craft for which he received awards from the Handicrafts Export Promotion Council for two consecutive years. Bombay Art Gallery known to promote abstract art was also his brainchild. ‘Amrita Sher – Gil: Icon’ an exhibition of her sketches was held and published in 2004. Aditya’s current interests lie in the field of painted photography and the later phase of Nathdwara painting and photography. His research in the art of Nathdwara lead to two acclaimed exhibitions ‘Nathdwara: Photography as Propaganda’ (available online) and the upcoming ‘What Freedom Looks Like.’

Alka Pande
Alka Pande

Dr Alka Pande is an art critic, cultural theorist, teacher, curator, and an author. She holds two post-graduate degrees and a PhD, and has served as the Head of Department of Fine Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts at Panjab University. Recipient of the Charles Wallace Award in 1999-2000, Alka completed her post-doctoral studies in critical art theory from Goldsmith, University of London. In 2006, she was awarded Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters - award bequeathed by the French government and in 2009, she received the Australian-India Council Special Award for her contribution to Indian art. Currently, she is the Consultant Arts Advisor and Curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. She also has expertise in art advisory services on art procurement and investment.

Annapurna Garimella
Annapurna Garimella

Dr. Annapurna Garimella is a Delhi-based designer and an art historian. Her research focuses on late medieval Indic architecture and the history and practices of vernacular art forms in India after Independence. She heads Jackfruit Research and Design, a design, research and curation organization which has been associated with Piramal Museum for the exhibition Mutable: Ceramic and Clay Art in India Since 1947 in 2017. Annapurna’s upcoming book is an edited Marg volume titled The Contemporary Hindu Temple: Fragments for a History. In 2017, she was awarded the India Today Emerging Curator of the Year Award. She also heads Art, Resources and Teaching Trust, a not-for-profit organization that runs a public art library, conducts independent research projects and does teaching and advisement for students and the general public.

Ashvin E Rajagopalan
Ashvin E Rajagopalan

Since 2014, Ashvin E. Rajagopalan has served as the Director of the Piramal Art Foundation, with its collection consisting of significant modern and contemporary Indian art. Under Ashvin’s leadership, the Foundation runs important fine art exhibitions at the Piramal Museum of Art, supports arts management programmes, archival and digitization of materials in artist’s studios, runs one of the largest libraries dedicated to books and documents on Modern & Contemporary Indian art as well as several resource networks that can be beneficial to scholars, and provides a platform for young and upcoming artists to showcase their work through a Residency programme. Ashvin is also the Founder of Ashvita, an integrated retail, restaurant, art and cultural space that runs across several locations in Chennai. He is deeply passionate about numismatics, art curation and artefact preservation.

Brijeshwari Gohil
Brijeshwari Gohil

Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil has a BA Joint Honours degree in Archaeology and History of Art from the University of Nottingham, U.K. and an MA in Heritage Management and Conservation from Durham University, U.K. She has worked as a researcher for Durham UNESCO Chair in Lumbini, Nepal, prior to which, she worked at CSMVS Mumbai. Born into the erstwhile royal family of Bhavnagar, Gujarat, Brijeshwari has been interested in the field of heritage from childhood where she was exposed to an environment of art and historically significant objects and artefacts. The exposure to her family trust, which maintains heritage hotels, historical temples and schools, led her to start the Bhavnagar Heritage Preservation Society. She is currently restoring her ancestral home and has been working in various capacities with the Piramal Art Foundation since the inception of the Piramal Museum in 2015.

Deepak K Natesan
Deepak K Natesan

Deepak K Natesan is the Managing Director of Natesan's Antiqarts (Mumbai) P. Ltd. The Company, established in 1930 is the oldest licensed antique dealer in Mumbai. The organization is a proponent of local collecting in India and has also published books on Indian Art. Over the last decade, Deepak has brought in several historians from overseas to speak on various topics to create art awareness. He has also written newspaper articles to enlighten the public on various aspects of collecting. A keen art lover with interest spanning from stone sculptures and bronzes to Indian miniature paintings.

Deepthi Sasidharan
Deepthi Sasidharan

Deepthi Sasidharan is an art historian, curator and founder Director at Eka Archiving, a cultural advisory. She works on heritage and museum projects across India with the Government, private and corporate clients. Under her, Eka has executed projects like Kalakshetra in Chennai, City Palace in Udaipur and Tata Trusts in Mumbai. She is currently the lead consultant for Moda Goa Museum, and the Bastion Bungalow Project, Fort Kochi, Government of Kerala as well as a heritage project for the Mumbai Police. A Fulbright and Fundacao Oriente scholar, she has lectured and published extensively on 19th-century photography and has worked on photography collections at IGNCA and IGMT, New Delhi, and Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad and several private collections. Deepthi is the co-author of Indira A Life of Courage (2017) and Treasures of the Deccan (2018) and teaches and lectures at several leading institutions.

Dhwani Gudka
Dhwani Gudka

Dhwani Gudka is a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow at New York University, specializing in Museums and Art History. Prior to this, Dhwani was a specialist and auction manager in the Classical Indian Art department at Saffronart. She has overseen sales of several eminent private collections of Indian paintings and sculptures, facilitating record-breaking auctions since 2015. Her interest in art and antiquities was kindled while working with the CSMVS Mumbai and later at Christie’s. Dhwani has an MA in Archaeology and Ancient Indian Culture from Deccan College, Pune. Currently, she is involved with provenance and re-attribution projects at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City.

Girish Shahane
Girish Shahane

Girish Shahane has degrees in English literature from Elphinstone College, Bombay University, and Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He was editor and later consulting editor of Art India magazine. Exhibitions curated by him include Art / Technology (Max Mueller Bhavan, Bombay, 2000); Home Spun (Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, 2011); Midnight’s Grandchildren (Studio X, Bombay, 2014); and Abstract Chronicles (Gallery OED, Kochi, 2016). He was Director of the Skoda Prize for Indian Contemporary Art from 2011 to 2014, Artistic Director of Art Chennai 2014, and Artistic Director of the India Art Fair 2015. He contributes a weekly column to Scroll.in

Kanika Pruthi
Kanika Pruthi

Kanika is an independent project consultant working in the art and cultural sector. She holds a Master's degree in Art History from the National Museum, Delhi and a graduate diploma in Art Business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art, New York. She has held several research, archiving and art administration positions with institutions and private entities including Eka Cultural Resources and Research, Concern India Foundation, Indian Council for Cultural Relations in India and Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses in New York. Her research interests include systems of art patronage and Buddhist iconography and cultural mutations in the Gandhara region. She lives and works in Bombay.

Mallika Sagar
Mallika Sagar

Mallika Sagar began her career at Christie’s twenty years ago. After organizing the first auctions of Modern Indian Paintings in New York, she moved back to Bombay as the Christie’s India representative, organizing sales of Modern Indian art at international salerooms as serving as a general liaison for collectors. Since 2004, she has worked as an independent art consultant, advising collectors of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art. Mallika also works with Pundole’s, the Mumbai based auction as a Specialist on their Estate sales, auctions of Ancient and Modern Indian Art as well as their multi-category Decorative Arts sales. Mallika trained as an auctioneer with Christie’s in New York and continues to take sales for Pundole’s and several charities to raise money.

Pradeep Chakravarthy
Pradeep Chakravarthy

Pradeep Chakravarthy is a cultural historian and leadership development expert. With his deep love and knowledge for the politics, economics, art, architecture, food, music and literature of Tamil Nadu, Pradeep is able to offer a holistic perspective of the State in simple and interesting terms to anyone who shares his passion. He uses his corporate experience and educational background to give a rare and insightful perspective into the life and times of Tamil Nadu, her history and her culture. With five published books and over three hundred articles in reputed publications like The Lonely Planet, The Hindu, Marg and exhibitions curated at India International Centre Delhi, Pradeep continues to share his passion for his work in leading publications and forums like TEDx.

Pramod Kumar KG
Pramod Kumar KG

Pramod Kumar KG is the co-founder of Eka Archiving Services, (www.ekaresources.com) India’s first museum advisory firm. He has worked with a vast range of artefacts that vary greatly in their materiality besides helping with nuanced aspects of cultural and heritage management. Pramod is the founder-director of the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing at Jaipur and instituted the Jaipur Literature Festival and is currently the co-director of Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Literature Festival. He has curated shows and lectured extensively across India and internationally. He is a published author and has made contributions to several edited volumes besides journals, magazines and other publications. He also serves as Curator of the ‘Art Laws of India: Deconstructing Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972’ conference.

R. Prakash
R. Prakash

R. Prakash is a senior cataloguer at the Roja Muthiah Research Library. He has received training from the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. He has trained numerous cataloguers over 23 years. As a documentation specialist, he has led several projects to its successful completion. He received the Charles Wallace Fellowship to visit Cambridge and Oxford to document rare Tamil publications. He has handled the documentation of South Asia Union Catalogue project by networking with fellow cataloguers in south Asia in both imparting training and coordinating.

Sarover Zaidi
Sarover Zaidi

Sarover Zaidi studied philosophy at St. Stephen's College, and sociology and social anthropology (M.A., M.Phil) at the Delhi School of Economics. Her research work at the Max Planck Institute Germany, focused on religious architecture, everyday life, and urban space in Bombay. She has extensively worked on rural public health, material culture studies and iconography in the contexts of Islam. She curates an interdisciplinary forum on art, architecture and anthropology, titled 'Elementary forms' and co-runs a site on urbanisms called Chiragh Dilli (https://chiraghdilli.com). She has previously taught at the School of Planning and Architecture, and Ambedkar University, Delhi and is currently faculty at Jindal School of Art and Architecture, Sonipat. In 2018, Sarover gave a TED talk in India on ‘The Anthropology of Horizons.’

Shaleen Wadhwana
Shaleen Wadhwana

Shaleen Wadhwana is an independent art and heritage professional who has been associated with several art galleries and museums. Shaleen is a Young India Fellow (Ashoka University) with a post-graduate degree in Art History from SOAS, and academic expertise in Art Appreciation (National Museum Institute, Delhi) and Cultural Heritage Law (UNESCO-University of Geneva). She is a visiting faculty member at the MITID Institute of Design (Pune), and the Humanities curriculum designer for their Masters in Innovation Programme. Recently, she co-authored an article, commissioned by the Ministry of External Affairs, on the impact of the Lodi Art District upon the community around it. Shaleen has presented her academic research on the object biographies of artefacts looted during the 1857 Uprising in British India, at University College London.

Siddharth Mehta
Siddharth Mehta

Siddharth Mehta is the Managing Partner of Mehta & Padamsey, one of the oldest Mumbai-based full-service law firms which, in addition to other conventional offerings across practice verticals, also focuses on art law and policy. Siddharth has lived and worked in Delhi, New York, San Francisco, London and Singapore before returning to Mumbai. He is also a director on boards of companies, including publicly listed companies such as Bajaj Electricals Limited, Indo-Count Industries Limited and TCI Limited.

Tanvi Misra
Tanvi Misra

Tanvi Misra is a commercial and intellectual property lawyer currently working as a Legal Consultant in the Copyright Law Division at the headquarters of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Before joining WIPO in June 2018, Tanvi spent over 8 years representing a myriad of clients in courts on wide-ranging issues related to intellectual property laws and commercial laws, while also partaking in negotiations and drafting contracts for various stakeholders in the copyright industry.

Tanvi has been responsible for researching and drafting copyright lawsuits and has undertaken regular advisory work for protection and enforcement of rights (including moral rights) of the creative industry including advising on contractual issues and drafting assignment and license agreements. For the arts and applied arts sector, apart from representing artists and art owners in Courts and negotiations, she has studied the nuances of the overlap of copyright with design rights and the legislative progression of such rights in other countries and has been the lead in the team challenging the constitutional vires of the provision in the Indian Copyright Act that limits copyright protection for the applied arts industry.

She has co-authored the India specific chapter in the book titled Cross Border Copyright Licensing (July 2018) and contributed chapters to books on copyright such as Copyright Litigation - Jurisdictional comparisons; Getting The Deal Through (2015) and has been regularly writing for legal journals like Asia IP and World Trademark Review.

Tasneem Mehta
Tasneem Mehta

Managing Trustee and Honorary Director, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, Former Vice Chairman and Mumbai Convenor, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. Mrs Mehta is an art historian, conservationist, writer, curator and designer who has successfully pioneered the revival and restoration of several cultural sites in Mumbai. She has conceptualized, curated, designed and implemented the restoration and revitalization of the Museum and the ongoing exhibitions and outreach programmes. The Museum won UNESCO’s 2005 Asia Pacific ‘Award of Excellence’. The Museum has been nominated for several awards for its outstanding work. Mrs. Mehta is a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and has served on several Indian museum boards and government committees for art and culture. She was the CII Chair for Culture in 2011 and presented an exhibition of Indian Art at Davos the same year. She was selected as a Mumbai Hero by Mumbai Mirror and has received several awards. Harvard University included her in a list of 25 women who have made an outstanding public contribution in India.

Tejas Garge
Tejas Garge

Dr. Tejas Garge is the present Director of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Maharashtra. Over the past two decades, he has worked extensively in the field of Archaeology and Heritage Management as a research scholar, archaeologist and curator. He has also led several expeditions within key excavation projects undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) between 2001 and 2017. Dr. Garge is also associated with many University departments as an academician. He has authored two books and seven join monographs on the study of cannons, monument and sculpture inventories, 32 research papers, and several articles in newspapers and magazines. Dr. Garge serves as a member of the Indian Archaeological Society, the Governor of MMR Heritage Society and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai.

Vaishnavi Ramanathan
Vaishnavi Ramanathan

Vaishnavi Ramanathan is an award-winning artist, curator and art historian. After receiving her Master’s degree in Art History from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, University of Bangalore, she worked as a research assistant for various art publications and NGOs as well as a consultant for several foundations. She was a consultant for numerous projects including the IDH Project developed by Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India. She has been associated with the Piramal Museum of Art in Mumbai in the capacity of curator, where she has curated several shows on contemporary Indian artists including ‘Kaleidoscope’ centred around the museum’s core collection; ‘Traversing Terrains,’ which showcases five decades of S.H. Raza’s work from the early 1940s to the late 1990s; ‘Likeness Without Reference: Cultures of Forgery,’ tackling the issue of fakes and forgeries in the Indian art market; and ‘Making Art: Materials and Technology,’ dedicated to showing how materials play a key role in creating art and ideas, and ‘Before the Canvas,’ an exploration of Indian art traditions before the popularisation of the canvas. In addition to this, she has also worked as curator on projects for the Kochi Biennale and the Lalit Kala Akademi, written for important art magazines, and been a guest lecturer at the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai.