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Jain civilization statues lie neglected in government storage facility in Fatehpur Sikri


June 11, 2011 - Fatehpur sikri

Ancient statues recovered in Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, have been lying in a state of neglect in a government facility 11 years after they were excavated.

The statues, excavated in 2000 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), were kept in a post office's storeroom, as the government did not build a museum for the relics.

Sugam Anand, a professor of Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, said the statues, which belong to the Jain civilization of the 11th century, are extremely vulnerable to deterioration.

"The statues that were discovered in Fatehpur Sikri, one of those has a mark of Jain culture on its pedestal that proves that such a civilization existed here. Now our government needs to have a plan that whenever such an excavation takes place in the future, then all the excavated items must be kept in a museum," Anand said.

"It has been 11 years since last excavation took place and we still do not have a museum. I believe that it's a failure of our system," he added.

Experts have confirmed that there was a thriving Jain civilization in the area before the 11th century.

The ASI has, however, said that the plans for a museum are in place, but its construction would take time due to coordination issues with various departments.

"Excavations and discoveries take time, it also takes time to study different parameters of the excavation. There are several departments that are involved in excavation like museums, archeological department and the administration department so coordinating with them takes time," said R.D. Dwivedi, ASI Superintendent.

"Rome was not built in a day and certainly it takes time. We are working towards it and soon it will be done," he added.

The excavations were carried out at a place called Chabili Tila in the village, which is also the site of a medieval fort built by Mughal Emperor Akbar. The fort was abandoned 10 years after it was built and the site became a veritable ghost town.

ANI

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