KCHR to excavate Fort Kochi: Minister

Staff Reporter

To find out the remnants of a fort

Excavation part of the Muziris heritage project

The project will unveil the historic importance of Fort Kochi: Baby

KOCHI: Minister for Education and Culture M.A. Baby has said that an excavation will be undertaken in Fort Kochi area to find out the remnants of a fort that was believed to lie buried in the area.

Inaugurating the renovated David Hall, gallery and café here at Fort Kochi on Thursday, Mr. Baby said that the archaeology department will entrust the Kerala Council of Historic Research (KCHR) with the excavation as part of the Muziris heritage project.

Mr. Baby observed that though the place was named Fort Kochi nothing much related to a fort could be seen in the area. He said that K.J. Sohan, Corporation councillor from the area who was also present on the occasion, had told him that portions of a dilapidated fort remained buried in the area. This prompted the announcement by the Minister.

Mr. Baby hailed the activities of the KCHR stating that it had been involved in a highly rewarding excavation project in Pattanam under the Muziris heritage project. It helped to unveil the historic importance of the place and the trade relations this part of the country had with Rome and other European countries, he said. “This was for the first time a scientific excavation approved by the Archaeological Survey of India had been undertaken in the state of Kerala,” he said.

Mr. Baby said that the recoveries from the excavation could be added to the cultural and historic remnants of Fort Kochi and hoped that the local community would extend its full support to the endeavour.

The Minister said that besides being a centre for art, David Hall could stage cultural performances. The hall, he said, would add to the efforts of the civil society in Kerala to preserve cultural tradition, which the government cannot carry forward single-handedly.

Mr. Baby regarded the Hall as a ‘beautiful example’ of how a partnership between the government and individual initiatives can be beneficial to the society as a whole.

Bob Hiensch, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, was present on the occasion. K.K.N. Kurup, Director General of Centre for Heritage Studies and former Vice-Chancellor of Calicut University, delivered a talk on ‘The Political and Cultural Legacy of the Dutch in Kerala.’

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