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Financial troubles plague the arts: Croweaters closes its doors

* By Afnan Khan

LAHORE: Croweaters, the art gallery situated in a 150-year-old building in Anarkali, may soon be closing its doors as the owners have decided, in principle, to shut it down due to a perceived lack of appreciation of the liberal arts.

The gallery’s fate appears to have been directly tied to that of its owner, MP Bhandara, who died in a road accident in June 2008, during his visit to China. Bhandara and his family have owned the site for more than 150 years and his ancestors used to both live in the current art gallery and run several businesses, including a restaurant, a café, a liquor shop and finally an art gallery.

The gallery was officially launched under the name of Croweaters in 1999 — a name Bhandara chose to depict his affection for his sister, Bapsi Sidhwa, who has earned world renown for her books, including The Crow Eaters, The Bride and An American Brat. From the time it started until now, the gallery has hosted dozens of art exhibitions, including works by Tasaduq Suhail, Changaiz Sultan, Mashkoor Raza and Naheed Raza. The gallery also contains a collection of 200 rare paintings created by famous painters such as Gulgee, Sadqain and Ahmad Khan. Speaking to Daily Times, one of the gallery workers said that the people working in the place were true art lovers and had developed an emotional relationship to the gallery due to both its artistic background and their affiliation with MP Bhandara. Continue reading