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Centre may fund Kolkata art gallery

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The central ministry of culture may come forward to support the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMOMA) coming up at Rajarhat in Kolkata.

KMOMA, a joint venture project between West Bengal government, the centre and a private enterprise, is an art museum coming up at Rajarhat over 10 acre at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore.

The project is expected to be completed by 2013.

“There is an urgent need for curatorial management, for curating as professional management practice and formal training programs leading to a degree or diploma in curatorship affiliated to a museum or a gallery in India, such a programme can be aided by the Ministry of Culture if a proposal is formulated and submitted to it. MoC would request inputs and proposal from KMOMA,” said Jawhar Sirkar, secretary (culture), government of India, who failed to attend the symposium but conveyed his message over a letter.

Sirkar emphasised on the the need to encourage long term loans and donations of art works to institutions which is quite common in Western museums and more private participation.

KMOMA was planning to have a dedicated national gallery, western and far eastern galleries showcasing art works of those regions beside a dedicated academic wing which will offer professional degree and diploma courses like museum studies, art history, art criticism, professional curatorship and art management.

According to Rakhi Sarkar, managing trustee of KMOMA, and spouse of the Anandabazaar Patrika newspaper group co-owner Aveek Sarkar, claimed it was in talks with several other international universities and museums abroad to have the best of the faculty and course curricullum in place. The state government of West Bengal paid Rs 138 crore for the KMOMA project till date inclusive of the land. "We hope that centre will match up the rest," said Sarkar. Sarkar said, “There will be faculty and student exchange programs regularly. There is an urgent need for professional curatorship and art management in our country, but unfortunately the present curriculum is horribly out of place, we are trying to fill the gap.” The construction is expected to begin by January next year and the musuem will start functioning by early 2013, she added.

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