Oscar winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya
Oscar winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya

Maharashtra BJP leader Ashish Shelar on Saturday urged the Union textile ministry to acquire late costume designer Bhanu Athaiya's collection, which is set to be auctioned and display it at the upcoming textile museum.

The BJP leader made the appeal in a letter to the newly-appointed Union Textile Minister Piyush Goyal.

India's first Oscar winner, Athaiya was born in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, died of prolonged illness in October last year at the age of 91. Athaiya won an Academy award for her work in the epic 1983 film 'Gandhi'.

In his letter to Goyal, Shelar said, "More than 200 saris and fabrics from Athaiya's collection are slated to be auctioned. The rich legacy of Maharashtra and Indian culture, once auctioned may end up in foreign museums or private hands and will be lost to generations from public viewing." The textile ministry should acquire the collection and display it at the NIFT sub-section of the textile museum, which is coming up in Mumbai, and the section can be named after Athaiya, the BJP leader said.

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