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Tagore house renovation

Santiniketan, Jan. 9: Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials engaged by Visva-Bharati to renovate Rabindranath Tagore’s summer retreat Shyamali will soon conduct a survey to find out the materials used for the construction.

The condition of the mud-roofed house, built in 1935 in the Udayan complex of Santiniketan, has deteriorated over the years. Although the university carried out repairs a few years ago, the roof started leaking during monsoon last year and the trickling water damaged the interiors.

The varsity formed a six-member committee, including ASI officials, to renovate the house.

An ASI team, led by regional director P.K. Mishra, met vice-chancellor Sushanta Duttagupta today to discuss the restoration process.

“Our technical personnel will carry out a survey within a few days to know what materials were used to build the house and the thickness of the walls,” a senior ASI official said.

According to a varsity official, the architectural plan of Shyamali was made by sculptor Suren Kar and the outer walls were decorated with “beautiful relief work” by Nandalal Bose. A portion of the outer walls was designed by students of Kala Bhavana under Bose’s guidance.

The Santhal reliefs on both sides of the main door were done by painter Ramkinkar Baij, the official added.

The ASI, which is also restoring some sculptures by Baij on the varsity campus, will hire locals for the restoration work.