Sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman declines Kerala Sree Award 

Shyam Murali

Kozhikode: Popular sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman declined to accept Kerala Sree award announced by the state government. He refused to receive the award to mark his protest against the poor maintenance of his sculptures at Shankumugham, Veli and Payyambalam.

Talking to, the sculptor said that his sculptures are being distorted due to government's negligence.

"I feel like a mother whose three children are being tortured. I can't receive the award while undergoing such mental agony," said Kanayi.

"Usually, I don't try for any award. I was ready to accept Kerala Sree as the government itself selected me. But, when my projects are getting destroyed, my mind is not ready to accept it. A helipad was constructed behind the Mermaid sculpture at Shankumugham. It should be removed immediately as it is blocking the sculpture's view," demanded Kanayi.

He alleged that reforms of the tourism department under minister Kadakampally Surendran damaged the beauty of his works.

" I have completed the Land Art including the sculpture of Mother and Child at Kannur's Payyambalam during the reign of Chief Minister EK Nayanar. But now, a tower has come up in front of it. It will distort the sculpture's view. The tourism department has agreed to remove the tower after holding a strike," he added.

" I have done the works intending to take part in the progress of the state. Neither award nor money was my concern while doing the works. All these works were done without receiving money. Because it was my contribution to our land. But the government which kept changing never supported me. Officials in DTPC executed projects without having any knowledge of tourism and Kerala culture. If the government privatise the conservation of the sculptures, there will be a proper mechanism to control these officials," said Kanayi.

He added that he had sought Chief Minister's attention to the matter several times. The sculptor also criticised the tourism minister for being ignorant of the importance of culture.

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