Indian artists plan Tel Aviv exhibit boycott

A 2004 piece by Pushpamala N

A 2004 piece by Pushpamala N

A group of Indian artists have announced that they will boycott an exhibition of Indian art in Israel next year.

The show is set to open in April 2012 at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, but five prominent artists said this week that they would not take part.

"Deconstructing India" will be Israel's first major exhibition devoted to art from the country and a celebration of the rich cultural links between the two states.

But the show is being threatened before the first paintings have even being mounted on the wall, after activists from the Indian branch of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel launched a campaign to encourage artists to refuse to participate.

Performance artist Pushpamala N, the leader of the campaign, has already won support from four of the 20 artists who were to be featured in the exhibition.

In a statement, the boycotter said they refused to become part of "brand Israel".

India and Israel gained independence a year apart from each other. India officially recognised Israel in 1950 and the two countries have since built strong links in culture, tourism and business.

There are an estimated 70,000 Jews of Indian origin now living in the Jewish state.

    Last updated: 2:28pm, August 3 2011