Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Archaeology dept wants groups fixing forts


PUNE: The State Department of Archaeology and Museums is compiling a database about forts and the restoration works undertaken by volunteer groups at historical monuments which do not harmonise with the original structures.

"Volunteer groups and monument enthusiasts have been carrying out restoration works at several forts. The problem is that most of them are neither educated nor equipped to perform such restoration. Their intention is good, but building a cement wall where lime was used cannot be considered as restoration," Tejas Garge, Director of State Department of Archaeology and Museums, said.

Compiling of data started around 15 days ago and it may take over a year to document all the forts and the work done by the volunteer groups. "Action can be taken against such groups if the work is at protected monuments. However, we will consult them and have a dialogue as the repairs are done with good intentions," he said.

Pandurang Balkawde, member of state-appointed Fort Conservation Committee, said there are more than 500 forts in the state of which only 82 are protected. "The State Archaeology Department is short-staffed and has financial constraints. Moreover, they do not undertake restoration work in forts that are not protected. But people have an attachment for these forts and cannot see them in ruins. Hence, they take restoration into their hands," he added.

Balkawde suggested that the department should train them in restoration work which will add to their manpower and help them maintain more forts. "We have provided a list of 100 forts that should be declared as 'state-protected monuments' a year ago. The government has started work," he added.


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