Lankan quest to save heritage stones | india | Hindustan Times
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Lankan quest to save heritage stones

TWO SRI Lankans come to the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) on Monday and begin learning. But, what? The science of conserving monuments from micro-enemies. But, why to the city? Because the city has the only institute of its kind in Asia on conservation of cultural property.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 01:18 IST

TWO SRI Lankans come to the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) on Monday and begin learning.

But, what? The science of conserving monuments from micro-enemies. But, why to the city? Because the city has the only institute of its kind in Asia on conservation of cultural property.

“We are sure that the ten-day training would go a long way in helping us to save many of our heritage stones—idols, statues, figurines,” says Kumari Dasanayke, a research officer with Research and Conservation, Central Cultural Fund, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Sri Lanka. Her colleague KAP Somaratne, a conservator with the same department, says: “Among the problems that our cultural properties are facing, the worst is microbiological. I know this institute has expertise in tackling microbiological factors and restoring-conserving an object damaged by microbiological factors.”There are eight other people who are attending the workshop on ‘Conservation of Stone and Monuments’ which is being held in collaboration with the Government Museum in Mathura. The other eight participants are from Aligarh Muslim University and some other places.

“The NRLC will impart theoretical knowledge to the delegates and the practical aspect will be taken care of at the Government Museum,” says NRLC director MV Nair.

Director General of National Museum of India Dr AKVS Reddy says monuments are becoming a big tourist attraction. So there is a need to conserve and preserve them. We should be organising more such training programmes to disseminate knowledge about the techniques of their conservation.

Aligarh Muslim University geologist MB Beg says there is a greater need to evolve new and better techniques for the conservation of cultural properties. But, he adds, “There should be programmes to make people aware that they should be sensitive to cultural property. People should not defile, deface, damage or erode culture properties.”