Chennai: Amaravati Development Authority chairman Veeranjaneyulu Jasti has written a letter to TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa seeking transfer of 400 odd cultural and heritage structures and monuments related to Amaravati from the historical Egmore Museum. The letter pointed out that the transfer of these structures to Andhra would help restore the dignity and culture and elevate the self-esteem of Andhra people.
The letter read that somewhere in 1797 AD, archaeology department of the British Government unearthed about 400 ancestral monuments and sculptures from various periods of dynasties from the soil in and nearby Amaravati in AP and the same were moved to the then National Museum at Chennai.
The government of Andhra is working hard to revive and recoup all developmental activities along with the construction of the capital city at Amaravati. In this context, in order to restore the cultural heritage of Andhra, the monuments related to Amaravati may be moved to Andhra, the letter requested the Chief Minister.
However, the museum authorities in Chennai were unaware of the latest communique from AP. A senior officer who has served in the state department of archaeology said there have been cases across India, where museums do exchange monuments or provide sculptures free considering the demand from a neighbouring state.
However, old timers and historians have a different opinion. “There are some slabs and few sculptures kept in open related to Amaravati, may be such monuments can be given to Andhra. But handing over the entire monuments related to Amaravati will defeat the history of Madras Province”, opined renowned historian Theodre Bhaskaran.
Madras Egmore Museum is one of the oldest in Asia and the British moved all the monuments to Madras considering their significance. Further, there are adequate slabs, sculptures and stupa remnants of Amaravati located in Andhra and only a few monuments are left in Britain and Chennai, he noted.