MUMBAI: Air India will have a museum of all the artworks it has collected over the years across the world, at its headquarters at Nariman Point, with a tender worth Rs 3.5 crore having been floated for setting it up.
The museum, which will house paintings and sculptures from some of the biggest names in the India art scene , will come up on the first floor of the Air India building at Nariman Point. reports Mumbai Mirror.
The tender to set up the museum was floated on Monday.
AI general manager (finance) Kirti Rao said, “Most of these artworks are spread all over the world. We are in the process of restoration.
Some top names in the industry are helping us and we are consulting some people.”AI hopes to inaugurate the museum by August 15, but Rao said it could take longer. The carrier’s staffers said that on display will be the who’s who from the art industry, such as VS Gaitonde, MF Husain, Arpana Caur, Anjolie Ela Menon, B Prabha and KH Ara. Air India, which started as a Tata company, has inherited art from the Tatas, said Rao, adding that most Tata companies had acquired art pieces over the years.
The airline’s officers said that when the carrier was expanding, many of its offices worldwide also got the works.Air India sources told Mirror that some works were pocketed by senior staffers, but Rao denied this and said that all the pieces are well documented and “not a single one is stolen”. Some of the art pieces were sourced from the JJ School of Art in Mumbai and in earlier days, artists have been known to be given flight tickets in lieu of cash payment.
An officer involved with the tender process said they have 1,500 to 2,000 artpieces apart from sculptures, carvings, old watches and woodwork. The airline also has a collection of textiles and costumes, including 65 that represent different regions of the country.