Vijai inspects fort and directs that the paintings be displayed at the gallery
VEREM: Reacting to the Herald Café report ‘Brushing aside Mario Miranda’s works at Reis Magos Fort’, Archives & Archaeology Minister Vijai Sardesai on Wednesday inspected the fort and issued directions that Miranda’s paintings be put back on display.
Sardesai, along with Saligao MLA Jayesh Salgaonkar, consultant and architect Gerard da Cunha and other officials, including Archives & Archaeology Director, were present for the inspection.
After the inspection, Sardesai issued directions taking cognisance of the Herald report to withdraw the decision and asserted that Miranda has to have a place at the galleries. He also suggested that the space can still be given to the artwork that was on display, of upcoming artists, and that the paintings of Miranda and other exhibitions can co-exist at Reis Magos Fort.
“Mario Miranda is a symbol of Goemkarponn and his art has actually accentuated the real facet of Goan life. I do not find this decision right and during my tenure as minister for archives and archeology, his paintings cannot be replaced. I understand that budding artists also need a place but Mario Miranda is an icon and has such a rich legacy, that there will always be a place kept for him, especially at this fort. We will reconsider this decision to remove his paintings,” said Sardesai.
Da Cunha expressed happiness at the decision to restore Mario’s work. “It is an exhibition which brings great joy to the visitor, is of International standards and elevates the fort,” da Cunha, who had appealed against the decision to remove the paintings, said.
There had been considerable outrage among art aficionados, tourists, locals and others, including Wendell Rodricks, after Miranda’s paintings had been removed from the gallery. The fact that Miranda was greatly involved in the restoration process only added insult to injury.
The inspection covered the entire fort. The Archives & Archaeology Director apprised the minister about the progress and various works that had taken place with regard to the restoration and maintenance of the fort as well as other activities.
On a positive note, Sardesai acknowledged and praised the efforts put in to maintain the fort while discussing possible future plans with regard to the fort as it tied in with the department’s focus and endeavours to conserve and preserve the heritage of the State.
Miranda had played a major role in getting the Helen Hamlyn Trust to restore the fort. Miranda’s exhibition that was on display at Reis Magos fort consisted of three parts. One of his best drawings encompassing all his phases and subjects – Goa, New York, Germany , Paris, Japan et. Running parallel is a diary of Miranda’s life in 1951, and finally a small film on him, where he explains his work. This visual diary showed the life of Mario Miranda and Goa on a daily basis and has great Historic value.