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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 17:48 GMT
Row over Indian artist hits NYC
MF Husain
Mr Husain's work has caused much controversy
The New York office of the art auction house, Christie's, has rejected demands to withdraw the work of controversial Indian artist, MF Husain.

In a letter sent to Christie's, the Indian American Intellectual Forum threatened to hold demonstrations unless the auction is dropped.

Mr Husain is one of India's best known artists.

In 2006 he publicly apologised for a painting in which he depicted the country as a nude goddess.

He promised to withdraw the controversial painting from a charity auction after Hindu nationalist groups accused him of hurting their religious sentiments.

They have accused him of painting Hindu gods and goddesses in a ''derogatory and vulgar'' form.

'Respect all religions'

In a letter sent to Christie's, the Indian American Intellectual Forum President, Narain Kataria, said his group would stage a demonstration unless the auction of Mr Husain's paintings - scheduled for 20 March - is withdrawn.

Painting by MF Husain
The painter's work has been critically acclaimed worldwide

A Christie's spokesperson confirmed receipt of the letter but said there were no plans to stop the auction.

Mr Kataria's letter said MF Husain had gained "ignominy and notoriety" in India by painting hurtful images of Hindu Gods.

Christie's expects some of the artist's paintings will be sold for up to $120,000.

Last year police in India's financial capital Mumbai (Bombay) began legal proceedings to seize property belonging to Mr Husain.

The order came after he failed to attend hearings in a court regarding an obscenity case filed against him.

Mr Husain is now thought to be living in the Middle East.

Correspondents say that his paintings are much sought after and some have been auctioned for millions of dollars.

He has even made two Bollywood films, although both bombed at the box office.



SEE ALSO
Indian painter sorry for nude art
08 Feb 06 |  South Asia
Indian painter agrees $21m deal
10 Sep 04 |  South Asia
Smashing India's sexual taboos
29 Oct 02 |  Entertainment
In pictures: India's dying art
02 Jun 04 |  In Pictures
Storm over nude art in India
04 Sep 00 |  South Asia
Indian artist upsets sensibilities
08 Jul 98 |  South Asia

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