Slamming sale of fake Sadequains, media asked to raise awareness
Many of Sadequain’s works being passed off as originals are actually fakes, the award-winning artist’s nephew told a news conference at the Karachi Arts Council on Wednesday.
“People are having a ball capitalising on his name and lining their pockets left, right and centre,” said Sultan Ahmed Naqvi. “At an exhibition at the Frere Hall we discovered fake works of the late artist. We’ve unmasked the culprits.”
Naqvi said that in many cases the art pieces bore Sadequain’s signature – but he never signed his works. Besides, in many of the signatures the flow was not the same as the artist’s, he added. He said the media could raise awareness about artworks.
Arts Council Karachi President Syed Ahmed Shah said Sadequain was no less an artist than Picasso or Da Vinci. “He never sold his works. He just gave them away for free.”
Shah said that unfortunately, there was no law in Pakistan to punish fakes, adding that the people behind the racket had become millionaires and billionaires. “There must be a relevant law to be strictly implemented without fear or favour.”
At this juncture Naqvi interjected to remind the media that there was a law dealing with forgery that could cover the misconduct under discussion as well. Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research Director Karamat Ali said he was an eyewitness to Sadequain’s works, his Rubaiyat and his tribute to Faiz Ahmad Faiz.
Ali said a big mural by the artist that covered the ceiling of a building in Lahore was not there any more. “The matter must be immediately investigated. It should be ascertained what has become of the mural and if it is rotting in someone’s personal collection.”
He said Sadequain was a poet and a social reformer who did not believe in private ownership. “Our state is obliged to preserve his works. The income from his works should go to the needy. The state should give impetus to Sadequain’s ideals.”
Ali said that there should be a corner in the Arts Council’s new building to commemorate the artist, adding that his works installed at the open-air theatre in Lahore’s Lawrence Gardens and Islamabad’s Faisal Masjid must be relocated and the thieves punished.
Noted artist Shehla Rehman said: “Today I am both a very sad person and a very happy one; sad because of so many fakes passed off as Sadequain’s works, and happy to see that there are those who want to counter this malpractice and rehabilitate his name.” On the occasion, the walls of the Ahmed Pervez Art Gallery at the Arts Council were decorated with different works by Sadequain and labelled as fakes and originals.