Murtaja Baseer was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1980 and Swadhinota Padak in 2019
Murtaja Baseer was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1980 and Swadhinota Padak in 2019UNB

Noted artist Murtaja Baseer has died of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a private hospital in the capital.

He was 88.

Murtaja Baseer had been undergoing treatment at Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a private hospital in the capital.

Artist’s daughter Munir Baseer confirmed this to Prothom Alo. She said her father died at 9:10am on Saturday.

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Eminent linguist Mohammad Shahidullah’s son Murtaja Baseer was born on 17 August 1932.

He played an active role in the Language Movement in 1952. He was one of those who took Shaheed Abul Barkat to hospital after he had been shot in police firing on the procession of students on 21 February 1952.

Murtaja Baseer, also a poet, short story writer, novelist, researcher, numismatist and filmmaker, was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1980.

He enrolled in Dacca Art College (now the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka) in 1949. After graduating in 1954, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence during 1956-58.

Then he studied mosaic and etching at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA) in Paris during 1971–73.

Baseer wrote several novels including Ultramarine (1954), Kanch-er Pakhir Gaan (1969), Mitar Shangey Char Shandha and Amitakkhar.

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He was a regular contributor to now defunct literary journals like Dilruba, Samakal, and Saogat. His first published poem was Parbe Na.

He was the scriptwriter, art director, and chief assistant director of Bengali film Nodi O Nari (The River and the Women).

He was also the art director of Urdu film Kaise Kahoon.

He joined University of Chittagong as an assistant professor and served until 1998.

The painter received Independence Award in 2019.

He will be buried at Banani Graveyard.