Heritage site status for Santiniketan: UNESCO team to decidehttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/heritage-site-status-for-santiniketan-unesco-team-to-decide/

Heritage site status for Santiniketan: UNESCO team to decide

A UNESCO team will visit Santiniketan this week to examine the possibility of listing Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s abode of peace as a world heritage site.

A UNESCO team will visit Santiniketan this week to examine the possibility of listing Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s abode of peace as a world heritage site.

Senior officials of Visva Bharati say that the delegation is expected any time this week to examine the proposal sent by the Ministry of Culture,Government of India through Archaeological Society of India (ASI).

“The team will consider the proposal and see whether the heritage status can be given to Santiniketan. It will also examine what areas can be included and what areas will not be included,” said a senior official of the university.

Santiniketan,which houses the world-famous Visva Bharati university and attracts thousands of tourists from across the globe every year,is India’s official entry for UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites for 2010 . If the nomination is accepted,it will become India’s 30th world heritage site and West Bengal’s third after Darjeeling mountain railways and Sundarbans National Park.

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ASI,the agency responsible for conservation and protection of monuments and nodal authority for making nominations to UNESCO,has sent the dossier to the Agency for inclusion of parts of Santiniketan on the world heritage site list on January 20 this year. Officials say that the 150-acre campus can be divided into core area which consists of Ashram,Uttarayan,Kala Bhavan,Sangeet Bhavan and Rabindra Bhavan and the buffer area around it.

During the visit,the team will examine the claims put forward by the ASI. The agency along with Visva Bharati has meticulously given details of each building in the core area. The university authorities said that after this visit,the agency will submit a final report on this project and based on that,the fate of UNESCO status will be decided.

The university,however,is not keen to talk about the visit. “We have been asked not to comment on this,” said Amitava Chowdhury,spokesperson of the university.

In 1901,Tagore started a school at Santiniketan named Brahmachary Ashram modelled on the lines of the ancient gurukul system. After he received the Nobel Prize,the varsity was renamed Visva Bharati.