75 Years of Friendship Between Luxembourg and India
This miniature sheet of two stamps commemorates the 75 years of friendship between Luxembourg and India, with artist Amar Nath Sehgal as subject.
Amar Nath Sehgal (5 February, 1922 – 28 December, 2007) was a noted Indian modernist sculptor, painter, poet and art educator. He started his career as an engineer in Lahore, and later turned to art. He shifted to Delhi after partition of India in 1947, and in 1950 studied art education from New York University School of Education. Subsequently, became an art educator, teaching at College of Art, Delhi, and in time a noted modern sculptor to his generation. Though he also ventured into painting, drawings and poetry.
In 1979, Amar Nath Sehgal set up his studio in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and lived between Luxembourg and India until his return to New Delhi in 2004. His long romance with Luxembourg goes back to 1966 when he had his first solo exhibition at the Musée National d'Histoire et d'Arts in Luxembourg-City. His iconic bronze bust sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi in the Municipal Park in Luxembourg celebrates the strong connection he had with Luxembourg. The bronze bust, a gift by the philanthropist Henry J. Leir was inaugurated on 21 June 1973 in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affaires Gaston Thorn and the Ambassador of India to Luxembourg K. B. Lall. In February 1980, the original bust was stolen and in 1982 Amar Nath Sehgal gifted a copy of the original which was inaugurated on 2 October 1982, on the 113th Anniversary of the Birth of Mahatma Gandhi.
Later in life, he also became a pioneer of intellectual property rights, especially moral rights in copyright for artists in India, after he fought a 13-year-long legal case with Government of India. A bronze mural which he created for the Vigyan Bhavan, Delhi in the 1960s, was removed without his consent, during renovations in 1979. He filed the case at Delhi High Court in 1992, and the courts finally awarded him damages in 2005.
In 1986, he founded "The Creative Fund" in Luxembourg to help young artists from Luxembourg and India discover and be inspired by the rich history, the culture and the heritage of both countries.
1993, he was awarded the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship by the Lalit Kala Akademi, India's National Academy of Art, the highest honour in the fine arts conferred by the Government of India. In 2008, he was posthumously awarded the Padma Bhushan, by Government of India.