150 Palakkad paintings being restored

Over 150 paintings, including a rare original lithograph of Raja Ravi Varma and manuscripts are on the road to restoration.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2006 12:02 IST

Attacked by moths and termites, over 150 paintings, including a rare original lithograph of Raja Ravi Varma, and manuscripts, are on the road to restoration.

The precious paintings are from the 'Kalari Kovilakom' in Kollengode in Palakkad district, which has been converted into an Ayurvedic hotel, by the Kochi-based CGH Group of Hotels.

After two years of painstaking efforts, six paintings were restored by the team headed by Arvind Kumar Sharma, Coordinator, Mural Painting Conservation Research and Training Centre, Indian National Trust for Art and cultural Heritage (INTACH), and handed back to the hotel group at a function in Kochi.

Sharma said the lithograph titled 'Radha' was dated 1895 and had been affixed with the signature of Raja Ravi Varma. It was tatters and when they started, they were unaware that it was original lithograph of the celebrated artist. Most of the paintings had been attacked by insects, fungus and termites.

PK Gopi, Documentation Officer, Archaeological Museum, Tripunithura, said 13 Palm leaves manuscripts from the palace were brought for restoration and identification. The manuscripts contained treatments for snakebites, skin diseases, and various other ailments. Ayurvedic remedies had also been mentioned in some.

A manuscript on legendary Christian priest Kadamanath Kathanar was also found, he said.

He said such palm leaves manuscripts have been collected from various places in Kerala and preserved at the Thripunithura museum.

First Published: Oct 15, 2006 12:02 IST