Architects and artists have slammed the Art and Culture Minister for not allowing an inspection of the ongoing renovation work of Kala Academy and to allay their apprehensions.
The Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude asked “Who” is the Charles Correa Foundation to ask questions about the design of the Kala Academy renovation exercise; an institution built by the great architect Charles Correa. Well, let's first state who or what the Foundation is.
The Charles Correa Foundation (CCF) is an initiative of internationally renowned architect and urban planner Charles Correa. CCF acts as a catalyst for architectural, urban design, planning and community-based projects that improve the condition of human settlements in India.
It's clear that the foundation is his legacy and the rightful stakeholder of the work and vision of Charles Correa and Goa's architects, planners, heritage conservationists, and simply those who truly love Goa chose to answer the minister’s question by telling him that the Foundation keep Correa’s work alive
Here is what they said:
“This iconic public structure cannot be compared with the other ones. It has cultural significance because firstly it has been designed by a world-renowned internationally acclaimed and award-winning architect and secondly the murals are also of a world-acclaimed renowned artist (Mario de Miranda) and only of his kind cartoonist, both of Goan origin. Both can be considered human cultural heritage icons if such a term can be used. Now we can talk about the structure as if it is one of the many government structures, non-entities but not this one”, said Heta Pandit, Goa Heritage Action Group
Darpana Athale, Architect added, “Charles Correa is not only one of the greatest master architects this country has been fortunate to have produced, but his works are also national heritage and some of the best examples of modern architecture, art, and urban planning. They are important pieces of our modern history when we think of ‘made in India and for India’. The Kala Academy is a classic example of what a great urban public space should be. It cannot be considered as just another regular structure but as Goa’s pride, treasure, and State monument as two of the best minds of not just Goa, but India, collaborated on this project – Charles Correa and Mario Miranda.
But more than the facts of the minister’s outburst, it was his manner that evoked reactions. “Irrespective of the merits of Gaude’s outburst, the tone and tenor were of sheer arrogance. Ministers cannot behave in this manner. All that is demanded is transparency,” said Margao based Senior Advocate Cleofato Almeida Coutinho
Meanwhile, Artist and curator Maendra Alvares had a clear professional opinion when he said, “An actual ‘professional’ in the field, is the only one who can contribute an expert opinion. I personally feel that we should listen to that expertise simply because they are there because they earned the right to it.”