WB to fund conservation work of monuments

Bhubaneswar: At least eight neglected monuments would soon get a face-lift with the World Bank funded Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) taking up their conservation work.

"The eight monuments having historical and maritime importance need to be protected and preserved for our future posterity," said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while inaugurating a workshop on "Improvement and Conservation of Cultural and Archaeological Assets."

The monuments identified for conservation along the Orissa coast by the ICZM with Italian expertise are – Potagada (Ganjam Fort), British Cementary, Ganjam, Bateswara Temple, Kanitagada, Bhaba Kundaleswar Temple, Manikpatna; Harachandi Temple, Baliharachandi; Harihardeva Temple, Nairi; Jaganatha Temple, Pentha and Old Building, Jambu, Kendrapara district.

The monuments would be renovated at an estimated cost of Rs 7.40 crore, ICMP director Ajit Kumar Patnaik said, adding the preservation includes structural conservation, chemical conservation, environmental up-gradation, illumination of the periphery area.

"Italy has the expertise in heritage conservation. We will replicate Italian model in conservation activities," said Deputy Chief of Italian Embassy Ugo Astut, who too attended the workshop.

In addition to this, the ICZMP would also take up up-gradation of the Orissa State Museum in support from "Culture and Sustainable Development Trust Fund" financed by the Italian Government through World Bank.

Meanwhile, LASA- INTACH consortium have developed a master plan for the Orissa State Museum, established in 1932. It houses a rich collection of sculptures, coins, copper plates, stone inscriptions, lithic and Bronze age tools, rare manuscripts written on palm leaves, traditional and folk musical instruments.

The manuscript gallery contains some rare palm leaf manuscripts. The manuscripts are incredibly rich in exquisite penmanship and are a repository of artistic expressions of that time.

"The expertise from Italy would certainly add value in upgrading the State museum to international standard," the chief minister said.