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President Patil condoles death of celebrated painter MF Hussain

June 9, 2011 - New Delhi

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has condoled the passing away of Maqbool Fida Hussain, who died of a Heart attack at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London early this morning.

President Patil in her condolence message said: "Hussain was a world renowned artist whose extraordinary style made him a celebrity on his own right in the arena of contemporary paintings. A man of multi-dimensional talent, his death would create a deep void in the world of art and creativity. He also brought glory to the house as a parliamentarian."

Husain, 95, who earned both fame and wrath for his paintings, was on self-imposed exile in Qatar and UK among other places after he got death threats.

Husain died in exile from his homeland in India, having become a Qatari citizen in 2006.

In 1990s some of Husain's works became controversial because of their portrayal of Hindu deities in the nude or in an allegedly sexual manner.

The paintings in question were created in 1970, but did not become an issue until 1996, when they were printed in Vichar Mimansa, a Hindi monthly magazine, which published them in an article headlined "M.F. Husain: A Painter or Butcher".

In response, eight criminal complaints were filed against Husain. In 2004, Delhi High Court dismissed these complaints of "promoting enmity between different groups ... by painting Hindu goddesses - Durga and Sarswati, that was later compromised by Hindus.

In 1998, Husain's house was attacked by Hindu groups like Bajrang Dal and art works were vandalised.

In February 2006, Husain was charged with hurting sentiments of people because of his nude portraits of Hindu gods and goddesses.

A series of cases were brought against him and a court case related to the alleged obscene depiction of Hindu goddesses in his paintings resulted in issuing a non-bailable warrant against Husain after he failed to respond to summons.

Husain is also famous for his painting of Madhuri Dixit, for his series Gaja Gamini.


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