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World Heritage tag for forts: Political leaders seek to include forts from their districts in final nomination list, officials say

Last April, the state Directorate of Archaeology and Museums had sent tentative serial nomination of 14 forts on the theme of “Maratha military architecture in Maharashtra” to the ASI, which had then forwarded it to the UNESCO through the Ministry of Culture.

Written by Vishwas Waghmode | Mumbai |
Updated: May 23, 2021 1:49:12 am
World Heritage tag for forts: Political leaders seek to include forts from their districts in final nomination list, officials sayThe 14 forts were in Shivneri (birthplace of Shivaji), Raigad (capital fort rebuilt for coronation of Maratha king), Torna (first fort of Maratha empire), Rajgad and Sindhudurg among others. (Source: Wikimedia)

Days after Maharashtra’s tentative serial nomination list of 14 forts from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s era was accepted by UNESCO for the World Heritage tag, officials claimed that pressure is being put up on state Directorate of Archaeology and Museums by political leaders to include forts from their districts in the final nomination list.

Now that the tentative serial nomination has been accepted by UNESCO, the government will have to prepare a detailed final list to get the World Heritage tag for these forts. “Serial” refers to more than one property being nominated.

Sources said the directorate has been facing pressure from leaders of the various districts.

“One of the views cited by the leaders is that the forts, which are not in the tentative list, have also contributed to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Swarajya. Hence, these forts should be included in the final list. It has complicated the issue,” said an official.

The official added that clarity would be sought from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on the issue.

Also, the state government may appoint a committee of experts to decide on the issue, the official said.

Last April, the state Directorate of Archaeology and Museums had sent tentative serial nomination of 14 forts on the theme of “Maratha military architecture in Maharashtra” to the ASI, which had then forwarded it to the UNESCO through the Ministry of Culture.

The 14 forts were in Shivneri (birthplace of Shivaji), Raigad (capital fort rebuilt for coronation of Maratha king), Torna (first fort of Maratha empire), Rajgad and Sindhudurg among others.

Last month only, UNESCO had accepted the list, which means the state government will now have to prepare a detailed final nomination list to get the World Heritage tag.

Officials said that the dossier for the final nomination will include reasons why the structures have outstanding universal value.

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage is likely to be roped in for preparing the dossier, said an official.

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