‘Resume restoration of Palace temple heritage paintings’
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‘Resume restoration of Palace temple heritage paintings’

February 4, 2024

‘Artists who painstakingly undertook works not paid stipend’

Mysore/Mysuru: The ambitious plan of restoring paintings and murals at the temples inside the Mysore Palace premises to increase their aesthetic value has come to a grinding halt since the last two years. This concern was brought to light during a press conference held at Patrakarthara Bhavan here recently, where speakers urged prompt resumption of these restoration efforts.

Addressing the media persons, former Corporator M. Sriram revealed that the painstaking work of art restoration had been abruptly halted due to a shortage of funds.

“The project aimed to rejuvenate century-old oil paintings, stained glass windows, frescoes and depictions of Gods and Goddesses — integral pieces of tangible history and culture. Regrettably, the artists involved have not received their stipends,” he explained.

The project began at the end of 2021 and the task was handed over to National Research Laboratory for Conservation (NRLC) of Cultural Property, Lucknow, which entrusted the work to its Regional Conservation Laboratory in Mysuru. The Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage initiated the conservation works. As part of the efforts, the conservation and restoration works were taken up at Sri Shwetha Varahaswamy and Sri Ambujavalli Mahalakshmi temples.

“The art works were being restored by S.V. Sahana from Mysuru and two other artists from North India. But the North Indian artists left the work as stipend was not paid to them for their intricate works. Sahana continued the work but the authorities failed to pay her the stipend, insulting the efforts. Only after much appeals and persuasion, Sahana got a delayed stipend but the restoration work has come to a standstill,” he said.

Sriram appealed to the authorities to restart the restoration works. “There is information that the work will start soon,” he added.

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 Speaking on other issues, he emphasised on the importance of acknowledging the associate sculptors who collaborated with Arun Yogiraj in crafting Balak Ram idol (Ram Lalla) at Ayodhya Sri Ram Temple. While expressing appreciation for the recognition accorded to Arun Yogiraj, he underscored the need for similar honours to be extended to his team members.

“We wholeheartedly appreciate the recognition bestowed upon Arun Yogiraj, but it is crucial not to overlook the contributions of his team mates. The district authorities should take steps to ensure that all the sculptors from Mysuru who played a role in carving the Balak Ram idol receive the deserved recognition and are duly felicitated,” he added.

He welcomed the decision of constructing a Ram Temple at Harohalli-Gujjegowdanapura from where the Balak Ram idol stone was excavated and said that like Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to consecrate the Ayodhya Ram Temple, former PM H.D. Deve Gowda must be invited to inaugurate the Temple at Harohalli-Gujjegowdanapura.

Lion K. Shivappa, industrialist Lochan Nagaraj, contractor Ningegowda, labour leader R. Rangaswamy and artist S.V. Sahana were present.

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