At its first meeting on Monday, the panel drew up a plan for works on the 104-year-old building that will be taken up shortly

The experts’ committee, constituted by the State government for preservation and conservation of the 104-year-old National Art Gallery (NAG) building on the campus of the Government Museum, has prescribed a host of works to be carried out immediately.

At its first meeting on Monday, the panel drew up a plan for the works, which include documentation of the front portion of the building on either side, removal of thick existing vegetation, moss and lichen, excavation of trenches of length not more than two metres on the northern side and completely dismantling and re-erecting the front portion. The work would be taken up shortly, official sources say.

The committee was constituted last month following Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s announcement of an allotment of Rs. 11 crore for the restoration of the heritage building.

Among those who took part in the meeting were K.T. Narasimhan, chief expert and former superintending archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), R. Kannan, principal secretary of the State tourism, culture and religious endowment department, S. Vasanthi, commissioner-in-charge of the State department of archaeology and G. Maheswari, superintending archaeologist of the Chennai circle of the ASI.

Discussing the factors that had contributed to cracks and other structural problems in the NAG building, Mr. Narasimhan told The Hindu that imbalance in the foundation, water stagnation on the campus and disproportionate head load were some of them. He said perhaps, Rajput-styled tombs were not originally part of the building and they were added later.    

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