Mary Shemza, the widow of late Pakistani artist Anwar Jalal Shemza, has thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan, Federal Minister Shafqat Mehmood and PNCA Director General Dr Fouzia Saeed for returning the works by her late husband after a struggle of 30 years. “I am delighted that the works have been returned and would like to thank you for your support. I would also like to thank Dr Fouzia, Director General of the PNCA, for making this happen,” Mary Shemza wrote in a letter to the prime minister. Narrating her ordeal in the latter, Mary lamented, “For the last 30 years, I have been trying to get my property returned to me through several legal documents and have been refused even though, I, the widow of Anwar Jalal Shemza, am the rightful legal owner of the works.” “It has been a grave injustice to be without the works for so long however, on August 17, 2020, the works were given to my niece Ruhksana Khan, in preparation for their retun to me in the UK,” she went on to say. “To clarify, Ruhksana Khan is my niece and was legally appointed as my attorney holder in 2016 in order to help with the return of the works,” she clarified, while reacting to a letter of complaint written by Mian Ijaz ul Hassan with regards to the return of 10 works by Anwar Shemza to her.“My late husband was an established Pakistani painter in Lahore in the early 50s as part of the Lahore Art Circle. In 1957 he travelled to London to study at the Slade School of Art. He fused western abstraction with eastern influences to create his own unique style. Since his death I have been continuing his legacy through exhibitions and publications about his life and work and he has become a well-recognised painter worldwide,” Mary wrote in the letter. “In 1985, after the death of my husband, I travelled to Pakistan and began a touring exhibition of his work across the country called ‘Roots’,” she further said. “At that time, I was asked by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts to loan them 10 works by my husband for exhibition purposes and I agreed,” she added. “Some years later on the June 2, 1988, I received a letter from Gulam Rasul offering to buy the works from me. I refused this offer because the PNCA was unable to pay me in GBP in the UK where I currently live,” she narrated. “It is clear that the PNCA did not believe the works were gifted to them as they would not be trying to buy them from me if this was the case,” she argued in the letter.Mary thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and PNCA Director General Dr Fouzia Saeed for returning the works by her late husband after a long struggle of 30 years.