ASI miffed at damage to museum pieces

Date:

Share post:

Irreversible damage to two of the finest pieces of Indian art at the Indian Museum, renowned for its collection of rare artefacts, here has made the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) write to the Union Culture Ministry.

ASI miffed at damage to museum pieces
ASI has referred to the damage to a unique Mauryan lion (left) and the Yakshi sculpture 
(right) at the Indian Museum in Kolkata [Credit: Sushanta Patronobish]

Expressing outrage at the damage to the precious artefacts dating back to the 2nd and 3rd century BC, the ASI warned the Ministry that the Museum would cease to exist “in the near future” if such a callous attitude continued.

While the damage to the right foot of the 2nd century BC figure of a Yakshi was noticed a few weeks ago, chips on the chest and belly of the “Lion Capital of Rampurva”, a unique specimen of Mauryan sculpture, were discovered last year. Two inspection reports, accessed by The Hindu, suspect the damage was caused by mishandling. “There is a definite damage above the right foot of the sculpture near the ankle. Though the museum staff are of the opinion it was caused by flaking, we did not feel so,” says the report on the Yakshi statue. “The dent is quite deep and abrasive as per standard norms of flaking.” A thorough investigation, it says, “is justifiable under the circumstances.”

The damage to the “Lion Capital of Rampurva”, unearthed by archaeologist Dayaram Sahni in 1907-08, was definitely due to faulty shifting, the report says. The experts who prepared the report were told that the authorities decided to shift this heavy sculpture in two pieces as was done earlier.

Sources said copies of the reports had been sent to West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. The damage came to public notice at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing a petition by the family of Sunil Kumar Upadhyay, preservation officer at the museum, who mysteriously disappeared from his rented apartment in the city on July 3, 2014, and been has remained untraced since.

Author: Shiv Sahay Singh | Source: The Hindu [March 26, 2015]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Iraq tourism hangs in balance at Babylon

The words "tourism" and "Iraq" don't often get used in the same sentence these days, but if a...

Bronze Age cemetery casts new light on ancient Burma

A team of French and Burmese archaeologists unveiled new findings from a dig in Sagaing Division that offers...

Deadly lead: how lead poisoning affected the Roman Empire

Archaeologists at the University of Sheffield are investigating how lead poisoning affected human health in the Roman Empire. An...

Tiny island deer in Panama hunted to extinction thousands of years ago

As polar ice caps melted at the end of the last Ice Age about 8,500 years ago, the...

Kerala floods reveal site filled with ancient terracotta figures

On a sunny day last August, a few men were fishing in the river Pamba in Kozhippalam near...

Rare silver coins from 13th century discovered in South Bohemia

Archaeologists from South Bohemia have just announced a unique discovery of some 800 silver coins dating back to...

39 pre-Columbian artefacts returned to Colombia from Belgium

Colombia has recovered 39 pre-Columbian pieces that were found in Belgium, the Andean nation’s foreign ministry said. The items...

Searchers consider ‘winter dive’ to explore Erebus further

Searchers who found one of the lost vessels of the ill-fated Franklin expedition are so eager to get...