Centre renews bid to get Unesco heritage site tag for Santiniketan

1 month ago 31
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KOLKATA: The Union culture ministry is mounting a renewed campaign to secure the status of Unesco World Heritage Site for

Santiniketan

, 11 years after the first attempt to get this recognition for Rabindranath Tagore’s cultural ark in the run-up to his 150th birth anniversary in 2010.
A fresh dossier prepared by the

Archaeological Survey of India

(ASI) with the help of

Visva-Bharati University

has already been submitted to Unesco. An ASI team, led by its director general Vidya Vidyanathan, had camped at the university in January to prepare the report, findi-ng answers to the questions that were raised the last time. External heritage conservation experts were roped in to assist the ASI.
“The team worked with our faculty and Tagore experts from

Rabindra Bhavan

to prepare the report. We are happy that the

application

has been revived,” a senior Visva-Bharati official said.
The ASI team surveyed the “original” parts of the university, including the Kanch Mandir Upsana Griha, Santiniketan Bari (the first building that housed Debendranath Tagore and his family after Bhubandanga was bought by him),

Uttarayan

complex, Kala Bhavana, Sangeet Bhavana and all other structures built by Tagore as part of his dream university. The team also scanned thousands of documents and videographed paintings, sculptures and artwork by Tagore and Bengal School stalwarts like

Nandalal Bose

, Ramkinker Baij and Benode Bihari.
The original application in 2010 had been pushed to the “tentative” list after a technical evaluation of the site by the International Council on Monuments and Sites. It was then pointed out that development pressure on the campus had tampered with the site’s heritage value.

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