Air India is looking to make some money off its collection of art, according to the Financial Times which remains doubtful that the strategy will yield cash or positive publicity for the national carrier:
The state carrier hopes to raise money through its valuable art collection, which includes both Indian antiquities – including woodcarvings and sculptures – and around 18 works by contemporary masters such as the late MF Husain.
Airline officials told Indian reporters that the treasures can be ‘rented’ to galleries, or perhaps even sold – and they now have plans to appoint a consultant to catalogue and value the art works.
As the FT points out, there’s a flaw to this logic. Husain remains radioactive among the country’s Hindu population and selling the works out of the country would be unpopular. India, of course, lacks the museum infrastructure to absorb the works. So that leaves a wealthy Indian collector who might not be motivated to pay top prices without competition.
Air India: Cashing In On Its Art (Beyond Brics/FT)