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Detroit Institute removes Ganesha finger puppet

Detroit Institute removes Ganesha finger puppet
February 13
15:30 2020

Madhu Patel

CHICAGO: The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, removed Lord Ganesha’s finger puppet from its Museum Shop website within hours of protest from a large group of Indian Americans who called it “highly inappropriate.”

D Rajan Zed spearheaded the protest and thanked DIA for understanding the concerns of the community. It was pointed out that this product involved the trivialization of much venerated deity Lord Ganesh.

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that any inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world, with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought; Moreover, it was saddening for the devotees to see Lord Ganesha reduced as a finger puppet under the mercy and control of the owner. There are about three million Hindus in the USA, and a substantial number of them reside/work in the city of Detroit and the counties of Wayne, Oakland, RajanZed added.

DIA, founded in 1885, covers 658,000 square feet that include over 100 galleries. Its collection of over 65,000 works is claimed to be “among the top six in the United States”; and includes Vincent van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait” (1887) and Diego Rivera’s “Detroit Industry” murals.

DIA Museum Shop claims to feature “merchandise inspired by the collection” of DIA. Lord Ganesha’s finger puppet was priced at $6.95 at its website.

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