“For money, we will sell our country. We have lost our heritage for a few pennies,” said A. Sundara, retired professor in the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Karnatak University, Dharwad. He was delivering a special lecture on ‘Rock art of southern India: Neolithic to early historical’ which was part of the inauguration of the exhibition ‘The world of rock art’ at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here on Tuesday.

The exhibition, organised by the NGMA, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi and the Archaeological Survey of India, Bangalore circle, is on till January 3, 2014 at the NGMA (closed on Mondays). The exhibition is part of the IGNCA’s national project on rock art which gives top priority for creating general awareness among school children, college and university students and the general public about this first creative art of humankind.

Lamenting the lack of study and conservation of ancient rock art, Prof. Sundara cited the example of a contract with the Japanese to import granite from Ilkal.

Speaking about the need for the conservation of rock art, he said: “Some art forms still exist and they have done so for thousands of years. People should write papers and take it to the villagers. They usually say that they have seen the art forms but did not know of its importance. Read folk literature to know the meanings of the rock art.”