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‘Moving artworks a highly-skilled task’

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Moving artworks

New Delhi, May 26 : Moving a work of art, whether for repositioning or an exhibition, is a highly specialised affair that requires both the skills of a professional mover and an appreciation of aesthetics, says the head of arguably the only Indian firm offering the service.

“No one wants to take a chance with art works that have a monetary or a sentimental value; so moving artworks is a specialized field. Moving art requires handlers to be design specialists and no one size that fits in this trade,” Anil Jagtiani, COO of Santa Fe, a large firm of professional movers that counts shifting artworks among its speciality.

“Aside from just packing, transporting and storage of art works, Santa Fe specializes in the security and installation of all types of fine art and antiques,” he added.

Santa Fe was established in Hong Kong in 1980 and then expanded in Asia. In 2008, it bought IR Moving Concepts, a privately-owned Indian company established by Jagtiani.

“Trust is a big thing in art moving. It can be very expensive to buy cheap in this field. The object of packing and creating works of art is to isolate them from vibration and protect from scratching and crushing. This can be done in many ways, but the basic theory remains the same,” said Jagtiani.

“Our in-house specialists produce special crates for every artwork. These crates are made from fumigated wood and the works are provided complete protective cushioning to save them from shocks or vibrations,” he explained.

“The interiors are lined to prevent damage from friction and sealed to provide protection against a range of climatic changes. Crates can be built to any specification requested by the museums when it comes to their international loans and travelling exhibitions or to the demands of a private owner for ensuring a safe transport of his/her collection. All the packing materials are non-toxic, chemically tested and approved by conservators,” Jagtiani added.

“The height and width of the art works are restricted by the sizes of trucks and containers. For bigger pieces, artists plan it in multiple pieces to ensure its transportation,” the COO said.

“Our qualified technicians, with years of experience in handling artworks, guarantee the most accurate and safest packing methodology using specialized materials for artworks,” he added.

Along with the package come instructions on how it should be opened at the other end and also about how it should be repacked, he said.

“Any artwork or installation that needs assembly at destination needs detailed instructions. This is usually done through images,” he explained.

The users have given Santa Fe a resolute thumbs-up.

“We use Santa Fe’s services extensively at the gallery. It is a great idea and very important, especially for international art shipments back and forth from India. Most collectors expect shipments to arrive well packed and transported professionally with utmost safety and security – this service enables all of that,” said Roshini Vadehra, director of the Vadehra Art Gallery here.

Well-known sculptor Shanthamani Muddaiah, who uses ephemeral natural materials in her artwork, said that she had “a very pleasant experience working with the organisation”.

“I didn’t have to chase them around like other companies. My work was delivered very efficiently,” she said, adding: (in terms of other movers) “there hasn’t been any such division between art and other things.”

Noted artist Krishna Raj Chonat appreciated the concept, saying: “Santa Fe has been my primary mover. I am quite satisfied with it,” adding: “There is a big procedural problem when we do it by ourselves.”

For instance, there are major issues when moving an artwork aborad.

“There is no separate window (during custom checking) and the technical panel refers to items only as breakable/non-breakable, perishable/non-perishable commodities. It is a bizarre process including questions like why the material is being relocated.

“Santa Fe has been doing the job for years; so they’ve found a way out to explain to the authorities and also deal with us (artists) efficiently. For us, it’s about time and also about safety” and the organisation takes care of that, he added.

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Heart-wrenching: Video shows toddler trying to wake up dead mother at Bihar station

He said the deceased was identified as Uresh Khatoon, who was returning back to her native place in Katihar. “She had undergone a heart operation on March 20 and passed away in the train after the train crossed Begusarai station,” he said.

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Todler Dead Mother

Muzaffarpur (Bihar), May 27 : A video of a toddler pulling the shroud from the dead body of her mother in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur railway station has gone viral on social media, highlighting the tragedy of the migrant workers going back to their native places.

The railways said that the woman in the video died on the train as she was unwell. The video clip, which has now gone viral on social media from the Muzaffarpur railway station, is of Arbina Khatoon (35), who had arrived in a Shramik Special train for migrants on May 25.

East Central Railway spokesperson Rajesh Kumar told IANS, “The video is of May 25. The family had deboarded at the Muzaffarpur railway station from the Ahmedabad-Madhubani Shramik Special train.”

He said the family was going back to their home in Katihar. The official said that Khatoon complained of uneasiness in the train on Monday at around 12 noon. “She soon passed away and her body was taken down from the train at the Muzaffarpur railway station at 3 p.m.,” the East Central Railway spokesperson said.

The woman was heading to Katihar with her sister, sister’s husband and two children, he said. In the video, which has gone viral on social media, it can be seen that after her body was laid out on the station platform, her son kept playing and trying to wake her up.

The official also said that according to the family members of the deceased woman, she was unwell and mentally unstable. The ECR official in a statement also said that the body of another woman was also brought down from the Surat-Purnia Shramik Special train on Wednesday at the Mansi station in Bihar.

He said the deceased was identified as Uresh Khatoon, who was returning back to her native place in Katihar. “She had undergone a heart operation on March 20 and passed away in the train after the train crossed Begusarai station,” he said.

The Indian Railways had suspended operations of the passenger, mail and express trains since March 25 amid the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The railways started to run Shramik Special trains from May 1 to transport stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists and has till date ferried over 44 lakh people across the country in over 3,274 trains.

From May 21 to 25, several Shramik Special trains were delayed for hours as these were diverted due to congestion on the Jabalpur-Manikpur section. The railways has said that the issue of congestion has now been resolved.

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Lifestyle

Small temples’ closure in UP affecting priests: Congress

As per media reports, there are around 5,000 small temples apart from famous and historical temples in Uttar Pradesh.

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Jitin Prasada Congress UP

New Delhi, May 27 : The Congress has voiced concern over prolonged closure of small temples forcing many priests to go without wages during the lockdown.

“Due to lockdown small temples have been closed for more than two months. These temples mostly depend on offerings by worshippers. The ‘pujaris’ (priests) are now finding it difficult to make ends meet. The UP government should provide Rs 7,500 per temple so that ‘pooja’ can continue,” said Congress Working Committee member Jitin Prasada in a tweet.

“Who can better understand the problem of the ‘pujari’ than the Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath) who himself heads a ‘Math’? This is even more surprising because the state government has a separate Ministry.”

He said his party colleague and former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath too has made a similar demand, but the ruling BJP government in the state has done nothing. Uttar Pradesh should be the first state to start this provision immediately, said Prasada.

As per media reports, there are around 5,000 small temples apart from famous and historical temples in Uttar Pradesh.

Prasada said there can be curbs on mass worship, but regular ‘puja’ can be performed daily. He is planning to distribute ‘puja kit’ for small temples in his constituency of Dhaurahra and his home district Shahjahanpur. He has asked his party volunteers to prepare a list of temples in each village.

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Health

Only 40% UK adults sexually active during COVID-19 lockdown

However, this study showed that older adults were less likely than younger adults to engage in sexual activity.

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sexual desires

London, May 27 : Only four in 10 adults have had sex at least once a week during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, according to a new study. For the findings, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the research team investigated the levels of sexual activity during social distancing and self-isolation.

“When starting this research we expected there to be a high level of sexual activity while social isolating at home, but interestingly we found a very low level,” said study researcher Dr Lee Smith from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK.

According to the study, Only 39.9 per cent of the 868 British adults surveyed for the research had taken part in any form of sexual activity during the previous seven days. The study found that being younger, male, married and a consumer of alcohol was associated with greater sexual activity.

Previous research has shown an association between sexual activity and physical health, including helping to protect older adults against cardiovascular events. Frequent sexual activity has also been associated with various mental health benefits and improved cognitive function.

The findings of this new study suggest that the UK government’s public health messaging around COVID-19 self-isolation and social distancing could include promoting sexual activity as a way of maintaining physical and mental health. This low level of sexual activity could be explained by people currently feeling anxious and stressed owing to the pandemic and not being in the mood to engage in the act, the researcher said.

Moreover, those who are not married or cohabiting may not currently be able to meet up with their sexual partners and similarly, those who use online apps to facilitate casual sex will currently not be able to do this. “A lot of my previous research has shown that frequent and trouble-free sex life is important for higher levels of enjoyment of life and general mental health, and this is particularly true for older adults,” Smith said.

However, this study showed that older adults were less likely than younger adults to engage in sexual activity.

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