Malancha, the house of Tagore’s daughter; (right) Santhaal Paribar, one of Baij’s works. Pictures by Snehamoy Chakraborty
Santiniketan, Feb. 3: Visva-Bharati today handed over Malancha, a house in Santiniketan that once belonged to Rabindranath Tagore’s daughter Mira Devi, to Kala Bhavan authorities to use it as a centre to restore, preserve and display the works of sculptor and painter Ramkinkar Baij.
Painter and former Kala Bhavan professor K.G. Subramanyan inaugurated the garden in front of the house that has been named Kinkar Udyan after Baij (1906—1980).
Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Sushanta Duttagupta presided over the event.
Bronze replicas of 12 sculptures of Baij that are installed at different places on the varsity campus will be placed in Kinkar Udyan. Baij’s smaller sculptures and paintings will be preserved and kept on display inside Malancha.
“The varsity authorities have handed over the house to us,” said Ashok Bhowmik, the principal of Kala Bhavan.
A dozen of Baij’s sculptures, including Santhaal Paribar, Koler Banshi, Dhan Jharai, Gandhiji and Gautam Buddha, are on display in and around the Kala Bhavan campus.
A Kala Bhavan teacher said: “The preservation of the sculptures of Ramkinkar Baij is necessary as some of them have got partially damaged because they have been kept in the open.
“We took the opinion of the Archaeological Survey of India, which suggested that the sculptures should be repaired and restored.”
At today’s programme, vice-chancellor Duttagupta said: “I do not want Malancha to become another office of Kala Bhavan. I want works of great painter and sculptor Ramkinkar Baij to be properly preserved in the building,” Duttagupta said.