A STORY OF GERMANY AND PAKISTAN
DR HEINRICH LUEBKE PRESIDENT OF GERMANY
INTEREST IN ART OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
The Commissioner Lahore (I think S.M. Masood) was at our door steps in emergent hurry. The President of West Germany was at the Badshahi Mosque Lahore and had expressed an interest in meeting M.A. Rahman Chughtai. While S.M. Masood waited in our drawing room, the artist got ready, and departed in the official limousine. The meeting was most friendly. Various important German leader had met Chughtai in the past, which including Feuhrer Hern Hitler in 1938. The Government had already presented a painting to the Chancellor of Germany’s Central Bank, and Chughtai Art was being discussed in Germany.
The Government had also presented a painting to the Mayor of Berlin. In any case relations had become cordial. A painting was presented to DR Heinrich Luebke, and DR Luebke responded by sending his Finance Minister Walter Scheel to the house of the artist to give him a GOLD MEDALLION in recognition of his art services. The typical Governmental machinery did not allow the Minister to pay an official visit, and Minister Scheel went back to the State Guest House, and then on his own sneaked in a metallic Silver Mercedes Benz to the house of the artist to give him the medal personally. The journalists were awe struck at the audacity of the Minister in doing all this on his own. They forgot how much respect Germans gave to Art and Artists.
A rather informal letter by President Luebke in 1965, when he receives two paintings for his personal collection, explain things. Love of Islamic Art was phenomenal in the Germans of those days as well as before. This relation continued with the next President, that was Walter Scheel. How President Scheel reacted to Chughtai Art is another story and best carried out in another blog. Suffice that Germans continued to express their love for Chughtai Art.
One such interest was holding of a CHUGHTAI SHOW at the German Embassy in Islamabad. Dr Klaus Terfloth initiated the show and the interest was to hold a CHUGHTAI SHOW at the State Gallery in Bonn. But Pakistan declined to do so and that is another tragic story of the past. We have lived with the failures of the Federal as well as Provincial Governments and it is like a habit. Democracy in Pakistan will never deliver! The Public is never in the eyes of the State.