New Delhi, Oct 12: A detailed, nationwide documentation of all monuments is essential and would be useful in preventing the smuggling of historical artefacts, a National Monument Authority (NMA) official said Saturday.
Speaking at a seminar on “Return of Yogini: Art and Crime” Himanshu Prabha Ray, NMA chairperson, noted that statistics with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) showed that the country had 33,000 unprotected monuments.
“This figure, though, is based on secondary data. We should go for a detailed documentation of all such structures as an important step towards conserving them,” Ray said.
The speakers also discussed ways of creating awareness about heritage objects.
Shaguna Gahlot of the British Council in India spoke about involving communities to prevent theft of art objects and creating pride in India’s cultural heritage.
The National Museum Institute (NMI) had organised the seminar as part of the ongoing exhibition — “The return of the Yogini” — that displays an exquisite 10th century stone sculpture which recently returned to the country from Paris. The over 1,000-year old stone sculpture of the yogini had been smuggled abroad about a quarter of a century ago from a village in Uttar Pradesh.
The exhibition is on till October 20 at the National Museum.