Denmark to renovate Bengal heritage buildings
Kolkata, November 27, 2013: A total of 116 heritage buildings, constructed between the 18th
and 19th centuries and located on the banks of the river Hooghly in West Bengal, will be renovated and preserved with help from Denmark.
At a workshop organised by the West Bengal Heritage Commission (WBHC) to
promote heritage and tourism at Serampore, French and Dutch representatives resolved to support the Bengal government’s ambitious
Ganga Heritage River Cruise Circuit project. Sanctioned by the Union ministry of tourism, the mission to restore some of the lost glory and
cull out a tourism circuit of it has been on the cards for the last five years.
There was a large Danish settlement at Serampore on the bank of river Hooghly from 1755 to 1845 before the arrival of British in India. The
rich Danish heritage at Serampore had prospered under Danish, the Danes
handed over the entire property to the English for a sum of Rs1.2 million on October 11, 1845. All the 116 buildings constructed during
that period have elegant Danish structures with neoclassical architecture
While Serampore, then called Frederiksnag after Danish king Frederik V, who ruled between 1746 and 1799, tops the priority list, not much has
been done for Bandel, set up as a Portuguese colony, the erstwhile Dutch colony of Chinsurah, the French Chandernagore or Barrackpore set up by the British.
The Danish delegation included the steering committee of the National
Museum of Denmark (NMD). Lene Floris, director and a member of the steering committee, said, “This will be our maiden opportunity to visit
ground zero (Serampore) for which we all have been working so hard.”
said Stine Lea Jacobi, project manager at Realdania, the foundation sponsoring the Serampore Initiative. “It will be useful to see Serampore
and the buildings under the conservation initiative.”
Most of these heritage buildings are occupied by government organisations while the rest are owned by private trusts and commercial organisations.
National Museum of Denmark will enhance the specific historic identity of Serampore and also improve the aesthetic and recreational qualities
of the heritage buildings through citizen-centric inclusive conservation projects by actively involving the local populations, NGOs and various
other stake holders, a state tourism department official said. Source: gulfnews.com