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Establish commission to conserve heritage sites

Eminent personalities yesterday called on the government to establish a commission immediately to ensure conservation of heritage and archaeological sites in the country.

Many archaeological and historic sites and establishments are being destroyed and antiques and historic relics trafficked because of neglect on the part of the authorities concerned, they said at a seminar.

Paribesh Bachao Andolan (Save the Environment Movement) organised the seminar on ‘Conservation of historic establishment, artefacts and heritages: Our role’ at the National Press Club in the city.

The commission should help the government and the authorities preserve the government-listed historic and archaeological sites and establishments in scientific way and recommend legal action against persons responsible for damaging or causing harm to those sites, the speakers said.

Addressing the seminar, Bangla Academy Director General Dr Shamsuzzaman Khan stressed the need to set up an independent commission free of interference from the government to conserve the historic sites.

The law enforcement agencies should also cooperate in preventing trafficking of antiques, he said.

Dr Shahidul Alam, director of Drik Gallery, said accountability in the activities of the commission should also be ensured.

Artist Hashem Khan suggested incorporating the issue of historic sites and their conservation into textbooks so that the new generations can learn about them.

Prof Shaheda Rahman, chairman of the department of architecture at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), laid emphasis on developing technological skills of the people working to conserve archaeological and historic sites.

The government should also take initiatives to conduct more researches on these sites, Rahman added.

Prof Abu Syed M Ahmed, Director General of the Bengal Foundation architect Luva Nahid Chowdhury, Prof Dr Parveen Hasan and Paribesh Bachao Andolon Chairman Abu Naser Khan also spoke at the seminar presided over by Architect Shamsul Wares.

The article was first published in The Daily Star, Bangladesh, the original article was written by Staff Correspondent and published on 2010.06.05.

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