LAHORE, June 24: Shakir Ali Museum, a subsidiary of the Pakistan National Council of Arts, plans the treatment of damaged artworks by renowned painter Shakir Ali.

Shakir Ali Museum Director Amna Pataudi told Dawn the museum had contacted Professor Bashir Ahmed from the National College of Arts, Saeed Akhtar and College of Art and Design Principal Dr Rahat Navid Masud to evaluate the damage done to the paintings on display in the museum.

She said that the museum would hold a consultative workshop of experts to evaluate the budget needed for the work.

The collection includes 19 oil paintings and eight drawings in charcoal and pastel mediums.

Of the 19 paintings, eight need immediate preservation as their paint keeps chipping. All drawings need preservation.

A proposal for the preservation of these priceless art works was sent to the Pakistan National Council of Arts head office in Islamabad in 2007 but the council got preserved only one painting by Muhammad Asif, former head of fine arts department of the National College of Arts. Mr Asif had also conducted a three-day workshop during the preservation of the painting in which art students of different art institutions also participated.

Officials said of the 19 paintings and eight drawings produced by the artist before 1974, two paintings and two drawings had been preserved time to time by different preservers.

They said retouching of paintings was a delicate job as no artist who had preserved the works wanted to retouch the paintings. The paintings and drawings preserved were only treated in terms of strengthening their canvass.

Shakir Ali Museum was the residence of Shakir. After his death in 1975, the Pakistan National Council of Arts turned it into the museum. This museum is an active place when it comes to art exhibition, lectures, and performing arts.

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