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Eminent sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra is dead

Raghunath Mohapatra. File.  

Eminent sculptor and Rajya Sabha member Padma Vibhushan Raghunath Mohapatra passed away while undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the AIIMS-Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Mr. Mohahapatra, 77, was admitted to the hospital after testing positive on April 22. Several members in his family were also found to be infected by the virus. When his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the ICU on April 25 and then put on ventilator support.

“At 3.49 p.m., Raghunath Mohapatra, MP, breathed his last while undergoing treatment at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar. Despite best of our effort, we could not save [him]. A four-member doctors’ team was constantly keeping close watch on his health,” said Hospital Superintendent Sachidananda Mohanty.

In 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind nominated Mr. Mohapatra — first person from Odisha — to the Rajya Sabha. As a doyen of stone sculpture, he was chosen for India’s second highest civilian award — Padma Vibhushan — in 2013.

The talented artist had just turned 22 in 1964 when he got national award for sculpture and in 1975, Padma Shri was bestowed upon him. In 2001, he was felicitated with the Padma Bhushan. Over five decades, he honed the skills of over 2,000 sculptors.

“Saddened by the demise of MP Raghunath Mohapatraji. He made pioneering contributions to the world of art, architecture and culture. He will be remembered for his contributions towards popularising traditional crafts. My thoughts are with his family and admirers,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while paying tribute to the sculptor on Twitter.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also condoled the death saying he would always be remembered for his invaluable contribution to the enrichment of the arts and heritage of Odisha.

Governor Ganeshi Lal said he was anguished to learn about the demise of the sculptor of international repute.

“A man who could infuse life into stones, Raghunathji was one of the biggest ambassadors of Odisha’s art, culture and history,” said Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 6:09:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/eminent-sculptor-raghunath-mohapatra-passes-away/article34521245.ece

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