The Bust of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Founding Father of Pakistan, was recently unveiled at the British Museum. The unveiling of the Bust marked the end of the yearlong celebrations that were organized by the Pakistan High Commission in London, highlighting the seventieth independence anniversary of the country.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was the chief guest at the unveiling ceremony. He and the High Commissioner, Syed Ibne Abbas, unveiled the Bust that is now placed at the new China & South Asia Gallery of the British Museum, called Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia.
The ceremony was attended by many people from all walks of life and included justices from UK and Pakistan, mayors, British parliamentarians, diplomatic fraternity, senior officials of the British government, and councilors. The Bust is permanently installed in the Lincoln’s Inn, which is the Alma Mater of Quaid.
“The installation of the Quaid’s Bust at his Alma Mater – Lincoln’s Inn Library is the grand finale of the High Commission’s year long 70th independence anniversary celebrations. Installation of the Quaid’s Bust will be rejoiced by the Pakistanis and provide impetus for the fast growing Pakistan – UK multi-dimensional relations,” the High Commissioner Abbas said.
He further added, “A strong willed Jinnah became a beacon of hope, courage and provided voice to millions of Muslims of South Asia. To describe the towering personality of the Father of Nation who was far ahead of his time.I wish to quote Professor Stanley Wolpert, a leading American historian, author and the Quaid’s biographer, who wrote: ‘Few individuals significantly alter the course of history; fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly, anyone can be credited with creating a nation state – Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three’.”
The Bust was sculpted by the well known British sculptor Philip Jackson. While sharing his experience, he said, “To get to the essence of the Man, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, I studied all the still photographs I could get hold of, viewed all the available films, read the words of those that had written about him and spoke to those whose lives he has changed, all to aid the build up in my mind a composite picture of the extraordinary man I was to portray.”
“Undertaking a sculptural portrait, is like writing a book. You have to do all your research before you can start. You have to get to know subject, get under his skin, see what makes him tick. Then you can start,” Jackson added.
It is to be noted that the Queen recently reopened the overhauled Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia. The museum authorities hope that the revamped gallery will help them attract more tourists from China and South Asian countries. If you are planning a British Museum private guided tour, do check out the new gallery at room 33 and the Bust of Quaid.