The Amaravati foundation ceremony will be the watch of the world. History rewritten for the state of Andhra Pradesh. Amaravati holds an important position in the rich history of Andhra. This is precisely the reason why various monuments that were excavated from AP during the regime of 18th century need to be brought back.
To this effect, the Andhra Pradesh government is trying hard to recover the precious monuments and relics that were excavated and taken away to the British Museum. Most of these precious sculptures from Amaravati date back to the second century BC.
These monuments were dug out during the excavation process that was carried out in 1776 by Col Colin Mackenzie. Mackenzie was the army officer in the British East India Company. He was of a Scottish origin. The colonel who eventually became the first Surveyer General of India happened to rediscover a priceless bunch of relics that depicted the previous lives of Gauthama the Buddha. The relics that were classified into four periods from the 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD were moved to the Amaravati Gallery in the British Museum of London.
The Chief Secretary Mr IYR Krishna Rao had recently visited the museum while in London. He said that the collection included nearly 100 different pieces made from a rare limestone called Palanadu marble.
These relics represent the most prominent collection of ancient Indian sculptures outside the sub-continent. Mr Rao took to action after receiving a letter from the the chairman of Amaravati Development Authority, Veeranjaneyulu Jasthi.
These sculptures and inscriptions once adorned the Great Stupa of Amaravati. While some of the sculptures remained at Amaravati, others were scattered across various museums in the world. However, two principal collections are now held at the Government Museum in Chennai and the British Museum in London.
Mr Jasthi had also previously petitioned to Mr Modi, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu and the Archaeological Survey of India about recovering the Amaravati collection. This request was later forwarded the representation to the Department of Culture.
Mr Rao recently made a detailed presentation on the Amaravathi collection in a Cabinet meeting.
Progress will now be seen as the AP State Government will write to the Centre and the British Museum, formally requesting to return the invaluable sculptures. An exclusive video on the collection will also be screened at the Amaravati foundation ceremony on October 22nd.