Puducherry

Facelift for Dupleix statue

The statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix is being given a fresh coat of paint on the Promenade Beach in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou

The statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix is being given a fresh coat of paint on the Promenade Beach in Puducherry. Photo: T. Singaravelou  

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Applying paint will make the statue lose its well-defined structure, say some historians

The iconic statue of Joseph Francois Dupleix, who was the last Governor of French Pondicherry, is being given a facelift after 145 years. The restoration work has been taken up by the Public Works Department (PWD).

The exposure to saline air over the years has taken a toll on the statue. Bronze elements on the statue have faded. The iron poles around it have corroded and the entire monument, including the pedestal, is dilapidated.

“The cracks on the statue will be repaired and it will be given a fresh coat of paint so that it can last for another few years. The surroundings of the statue will also be spruced up,” said a PWD official.

As part of the plan, the children’s park on the promenade is also being given a facelift at a cost of Rs.30 lakh. Korean grass has been spread all over the place. As many as 24 lamps will be installed across the park and there will be specially designed seating arrangements for children, the official said.

This statue was erected in memory of Dupleix who was the Governor from 1742 to 1754. The statue was shipped from France to Puducherry in 1869 to be erected at Gandhi Thidal, where the statue of Jawaharlal Nehru stands now. It was later shifted to its present location near the Park Guest House.

However, the move to refurbish the statue by giving a fresh coast of paint has not gone down well with historians and experts.

“The statue made of bronze should be oxidised to protect it over time. But, the authorities usually resort to applying paint. This will lead to the statue losing its well-defined structure. The statue has already been exposed to saline air and chemicals are being used to scrape off the flakes. This would damage the intricate design and texture of the statue,” said a historian.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2019 7:00:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/facelift-for-dupleix-statue/article6734988.ece

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