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Bank of America and CSMVS Museum to restore Anvar-i Suhayli

Announcement  |  Economy 

Bank of America has today announced that the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, (CSMVS Museum) will receive vital funding for the conservation of Anvar-i Suhayli. The restoration will be done through the Bank of America Art Conservation Project in partnership with the CSMVS Museum at the CSMVS Art Conservation Centre.

The Anvar-i Suhayli, a 16th-century illustrated manuscript with a compilation of delightful fables from the Panchatantra and dates from Emperor Akbar’s atelier in the early Mughal miniature style,  carries an A++ Grading, the highest grading available that positions it as an artwork of unique national importance.

Mr Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director of the CSMVS Museum, Mumbai acknowledged and welcomed the extension of this Bank of America global initiative to Asia. “In my knowledge, this is among the first instances of a bank adopting a work of art for conservation in a museum in India,” he said.

The CSMVS Museum, Mumbai will use the grant to further historical research of the manuscript, conduct technical analysis of the fragmented folios of the painting, and conserve and restore the Images. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by early 2013.

“In these economically-challenged times, and as art conservation consumes ever greater portions of museum budgets, the need for private arts funding has become even more critical. We are proud of our 140 year presence in India and appreciate the opportunity to partner with CSMVS, Mumbai to preserve this cherished piece of Indian history,” said Ms Kaku Nakhate, country head India, Bank of America.

The Bank of America Art Conservation Project provides grants to non-profit institutions around the world to preserve artworks that are of important cultural or historical value, for the enjoyment of future generations. It was piloted in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2010, providing funding to restore a diverse range of artworks in 10 countries. 2011 saw the project expanded to Asia Pacific, Latin America and the U.S. to facilitate the restoration of 20 pieces of art.

The project in India will be jointly led by Mrs Vandana Prapanna, Senior Curator and  Mr Anupam Sah, Head of Art Conservation, Research and Training at CSMVS Museum Art Conservation Centre.

Sah said: “We are pleased to have been selected to benefit from Bank of America’s global art conservation initiative. The conservation and restoration of this important and delightful work will make it possible to showcase Anvar-i Suhayli to the world’s public for years to come.”

“Museums around the world are full of treasures that either represent significant cultural value to that nation or play their part in the history of art internationally,” said Rena De Sisto, global Arts and Culture executive at Bank of America. “It is extremely important to preserve these treasures for future generations to gain an increased understanding of the diversity of artistic traditions around the world. So I am thrilled that we have expanded our Art Conservation Project to India to help restore this spectacular manuscript.”

The Bank of America Art Conservation Project is an extension of the company’s existing global commitment to supporting the arts, which is demonstrated through a multi-tiered program of sponsorships and grants as well as loans from its own collection, the largest corporate art collection in the world.

About Bank of America and the Arts
As one of the world's largest financial institutions and a major supporter of arts and culture, Bank of America has a vested interest and plays a meaningful role in the international dialogue on cultural understanding. As a global company, Bank of America demonstrates its commitment to the arts by supporting such efforts as after-school arts programs, grants to help expand libraries, programs to conserve artistic heritage as well as a campaign to encourage museum attendance. Bank of America offers customers free access to more than 150 of the nation’s finest cultural institutions through its acclaimed Museums on Us® program, while Art in our Communities® shares exhibits from the company’s corporate collection with communities across the globe through local museum partners. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also provides philanthropic support to museums, theaters and other arts-related nonprofits to expand their services and offerings to schools and communities. Bank of America partners with more than six thousand arts institutions worldwide.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, (formerly Prince of Wales Museum of Western India) was established in 1905 and is one the premier art and history museums in India situated in the Crescent Site on the southern tip of Mumbai. The Museum building is designed in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style and is listed a Grade I Heritage Building. The Museum houses a world class collection of over 60,000 artifacts which comprises of various forms of modern and ancient art from India and beyond i.e. Far-East, Nepal, Tibet and Europe. It has an important archaeological collection and a natural history section, which are major attractions for children. This spectacular collection comprises of purchases and generous donations from benefactors like Sir Ratan Tata and Sir Dorabji Tata. Several artifacts have been acquired from Seth Purshottam Mavji, Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala and the Archaeological Survey of India.

The Museum has won an award for Heritage Building Maintenance by the Indian Heritage Society. It has also been awarded the ‘2010 UNESCO Asia – Pacific Heritage Award’ for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Its present initiatives are being directed to it becoming more socially relevant and inclusive in its curatorial approach, education and art conservation programs.

First Published: Wed, January 18 2012. 18:55 IST