JBIC, UNESCO provide funds for monument conservation

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) The cave paintings of Ajanta and Ellora, the Tipu Sultan Palace and Hampi monuments in Karnataka and the Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan are among the cultural monuments and artefacts that are being conserved with foreign collaboration, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

In a written reply, Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said the government had obtained a loan of 901 million yen from the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) for Phase-II of the project for conservation and tourism development of Ajanta-Ellora region in Maharashtra.

Ms Soni said it was an integrated programme of structural conservation, chemical preservation and environmental development of the Ajanta, Ellora, Pitalkhora and Aurangabad Caves, Daultabad Fort, Bibi-ka-Maqbara, Patnadevi temple and Lonar group of temples.

A Technical Cooperation Project between the Italian Culture Ministry and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for the conservation of mural paintings of Ajanata and Elloea was in progress, she informed the House.

The World Monument Fund has provided a matching grant of 4,39,000 US dollars for the restoration and conservation of Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan.

UNESCO has chipped in with financial assistance for conservation of the Buddhist group of monuments at Sanchi and Satdhara in Madhya Pradesh.

Ms Soni said a technical collaboration project between the ASI and Janssen Pharmaceutica, Belgium was under way for bio-deterioration research for Tipu Sultan Palace in Srirangapattana and the Hampi monuments in Karnataka.

Replying to another query, she said there was no immediate danger to the Centrally-protected historical monuments in coastal areas, like the Sun Temple, Konark and Jagannath Temple, Puri, due to global warming.

With regard to the Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram, she said a groyne wall had been erected to protect it against sea waves, Casuarina plantation had been provided to protect the Sun Temple and the Shore Temple against saline wind, she added.


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