Later this week, different groups will make their case for various sites in this part of the country to be included in the revised tentative list of heritage sites in India, so they make it to the UNESCO world heritage list.
An initiative of the advisory committee on world heritage matters, constituted under the Ministry of Culture, the exercise is part of an attempt to revise the existing tentative list of heritage buildings.
According to committee member Steve Borgia, experts will meet in the city on August 10.
The list from the south, he said, would be based on nominations made by experts and various organisations such as NGOs, trusts, and government organisations such as the Archaeological Survey of India.
Including historically significant structures in the list, experts say, not only gives international visibility and status to the monuments, but also enhances potential for tourism.
‘Inclusion not enough’
However, mere inclusion would not help. The monuments on the list must also merit protection and restoration, as per international parameters, experts say.
Monuments likely to make it to the list include Fort St. George in Chennai, the Vellore Fort, Kazhugumalai, and the excavated remains at Kaveripattinam.
The State government has recommended the inclusion of two monuments — Chettinadu House and Srirangam temple.
According to chairman of the committee, Sujit Banerjee, who spoke to The Hindu from New Delhi over telephone, the current list does not adequately cover monuments across India and excludes south India.
Two monuments for final list
“The existing list concentrates only on the north. It does not see the potential of the south. A lot of Indian culture is down there,” he says. The revised list, with entries from the north, south, east, west, central and the northeast, will be sent to the World Heritage Centre in Paris, he said.
Of the 25 monuments on this list, India will nominate two monuments for the final list a year later. The meeting on August 10 is different on many counts, according to the committee members.
“This is a big step since several people are involved in the heritage nomination process. They just have to send a mail and seek an invitation to the meet,” said Mr. Borgia.