President orders urgent action
Aug 23, 2010 8:00:00 PM - aussieindolanka.com
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday directed the National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Ministry to implement a viable program to conserve the ancient Sigiriya frescoes for posterity with the assistance of scientists and the experts in the conservation field.
President Rajapaksa issued this directive after an inspection tour of the Sigiriya frescoes yesterday. The President carried out the sudden inspection few days after he received a comprehensive report from the Archaeological Department about the defacing of 22 frescoes in the Sigiriya world heritage site.
President Rajapaksa said Sigiriya frescoes are a national heritage and the Cultural Affairs Ministry and the Archaeological Department had the specific responsibility of protecting and conserving them.
He added that more facilities should be provided to the tourists visiting the Sigiriya Fortress in a way that would not cause any damage to the archaeological and cultural value of the place. The President also interacted with local and foreign tourists visiting the Sigiriya Fortress during the tour. Meanwhile, Archaeological Department Director General Prof Senerath Dissanayake said the Department will bring down renowned Italian scientist Luciano Maranzi to Colombo for the restoration of these frescoes which are getting defaced.