Bresson's photos of Mahatma digitised and displayed without text at Gandhi Smriti, grandson furious

New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) Legendary photographer Henri Cartier Bresson's gallery of photographs of Mahatma Gandhi's last moments at Gandhi Smriti has been digitised and displayed on LED screens in a loop without any text, and his grandson Tushar Gandhi is furious.

While Tushar Gandhi alleges an attempt to obliterate historical evidence, likening it to removing Renaissance paintings at the Louvre and replacing them digitally, Gandhi Smriti director Dipankar Shri Gyan denies the charge and says the display is still under construction.

Renowned French photographer Bresson was the last to have taken photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, just an hour before he was shot dead. The iconic photographer also documented the Mahatma's death and its immediate aftermath.

Birla House where he took his last breath on the evening of January 30, 1948, is today Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to the father of the nation.

Tushar Gandhi told PTI the digital format running on LED TV screens at Gandhi Smriti only displays the photographs in a loop, completely ignoring its historical context written in text when the prints were displayed.

'The photographs are running on LED screens like a slideshow with no text. There was no reason why such beautiful prints of Bresson were removed. It's like removing the paintings of the Rennaissance painters from the Louvre and replacing them digitally.

'There is no text to explain the situation and people don't get to know anything from them. There are eyewitnesses accounts of journalists which people used to read. When it comes on the screen without any text, it is just like any other photograph,' he said.

Gandhi Smriti Director Gyan said the prints were digitally displayed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the institution in November last year with German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel.

'During that visit it was digitised for two-three days and again it was done when the PM visited with his Portuguese counterpart (Antonio Costa). The PM had recommended that everything be digitised and we received the orders from the secretary of the Ministry of Culture,' Gyan told PTI. The LED display of Bresson's photographs opened for the regular public only four days ago, he said.

'It is still being worked on and we will incorporate everything in it. We opened it under pressure from the public who wanted to see the display. It is still under construction,' he added. Tushar Gandhi also said the photographs on display were prints of the originals gifted by Bresson himself to Gandhi Smriti and thus had artistic value.

'Shocked. The evocative photo gallery of Henri Cartier Bresson displaying the post murder photographs from the Gandhi Smriti have been removed from display on the orders of The Pradhan Sevak. Bapu’s Murderers are obliterating Historic evidence. He Ram!' he said on Twitter. PTI ASG ASG MIN MIN