What is the News?
St. George’s Orthodox Church in Kerala is set to become a Centrally-protected monument of national importance. The Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) will recognise the church for protecting it.
Impact of this recognition: This will stop the demolition of the St. George’s Orthodox Church. The demolition started after the road widening project in National Highway(NH) 66.
About St. George’s Orthodox Church:
- St George Orthodox church is believed to be established in AD 950 but some experts say it was built in AD 1050.
- The church was rebuilt in 1952. But, the eastern part of the church was retained (not rebuilt) to preserve the murals.
- The mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other permanent surfaces.
- Significance: The most attractive feature of the church is the murals paintings (around 47). These paintings are considered to be over 600 years old. Further, they reflect the blend between traditional Kerala mural art and Persian art.
Monuments of National Importance:
- Nodal Authority: Monuments of National Importance are designated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- What is a National Monument? ‘Ancient Monument’ is defined under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,1958. The Act defines Ancient Monument as any structure or monument or any cave, rock-sculpture, an inscription that is of historical, archaeological interest. Further, Ancient Monument has to be in existence for not less than 100 years.
- Maintained by: The Central Government is authorised to maintain, protect and promote the Monuments of National Importance.
- Sites: Currently, 3,691 monuments nationwide are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI). The highest number of them were in Uttar Pradesh followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Source: The Hindu