VMC, Museums Dept. lock horns over Buddhist pillars

The Hindu

Proposal of installing antique monuments at vantage points in city draws flak

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) and the Department of Archaeology and Museums seem to be locking horns on the question of installing antique Buddhist pillars at vantage points in the city.

While the corporation mooted the proposal with the aim of showcasing ancient traditions, the Museums Department maintained that antique monuments were meant for preservation only for future generations and not for display in open spaces. Moreover, the department said, rules did not allow it to hand over monuments to other government agencies.

For the record, VMC Commissioner G. Veerapandian, after examining the Buddhist pillars on display at the Victoria Jubilee Museum, had instructed officials to take necessary steps for installing the pillars at important places with prior permission from the Museums Department. He had then said the installation of the pillars at vantage points would add to the attraction to the city.

“Who will own responsibility, if damage is done to the pillars after they are moved out?” asked an official. Incidentally, as many as six pillars have already been identified for the purpose.

According to him, the department has chalked out plans to preserve rare coins, artifacts, paintings and antique idols at the Coastal Museum, which is being renovated.

“We will have enough space to preserve articles of historical importance once the construction of the Coastal Museum is completed in two months,” he added.

Meanwhile, VMC Superintending Engineer P. Adiseshu said a letter had already been written to the government seeking permission to collect the pillars, and response was still awaited.

“Once we get permission, we will install them in a month after constructing pedestals,” he said.

Antique monuments are meant for preservation and not for display in open spaces

Museum Department



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