Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, a bitter critic of MF Husain, today said damage may have been caused to modern art due to the demise of the painter and prayed that he finds peace.
His nephew and MNS president Raj Thackeray wanted all controversies related to Husain's paintings be laid to rest.
"Damage may have been caused to modern art due to his demise. That's all. May Allah give him peace," 83-year-old Bal Thackeray, himself a cartoonist of repute, said.
Right-wing groups like Shiv Sena and MNS as well as other Hindutva organisations were up in arms against Husain's depiction of Hindu gods and goddesses and fringe groups often targeted exhibitions of his paintings.
"As an artist, everyone has a domain and Husain handled his modern art with zeal. However, he slipped while drawing paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses," Bal Thackeray said.
"He was happy in his field," he said, adding, "I do not like modern art."
Raj Thackeray said, "Husain was a national asset and his contribution to the field of Indian art can never be overlooked. Whatever controversies happened should be laid to rest with his passing and if his family wishes to bring back the mortal remains home, it should be allowed."
He said Husain should be accorded appropriate respect.
Raj, also a cartoonist, said Pandharpur-born Husain was deeply associated with Maharashtra where his art blossomed and gained international recognition.