SC appoints panel to preserve, supervise Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple assets

via published on July 22, 2011

Noting that “speculative and unverified” reports in the media about the value of the treasure found in Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is “disturbing” to its sanctity and security, the Supreme Court on Thursday set up a five-member expert committee to organise and supervise a detailed inventory of ornaments and other valuable articles found in the vaults of the shrine.

The inventory will be conducted in kallara (vaults) A and C to F. On the opening of the sixth vault or kallara B, around which rumours of bad omen swirl owing to a model of a snake inscribed on the door, the court said the committee would decide after considering opinions from various quarters.

A bench of Justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik ordered the formation of a committee under the chairmanship of C V Ananda Bose, Director General of National Museum and Vice-Chancellor of National Museum University (deemed), to conduct the inventory in a way not to disturb the current environment in the vaults of the temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Other members are National Museum Conservation Department head M V Nair, a nominee of the Archeological Survey of India, a Reserve Bank of India nominee with knowledge about security vaults, and the temple executive officer.

The inventory shall be completed on a day-to-day basis. The court said no person other than the committee members be permitted to enter the vault. Photography and videography will be done by persons authorised by the police. The state government and the temple trust will jointly bear the expenses of the inventory.

The court set out a list of seven objectives for the panel. They include examining and categorising the articles into those which have “heritage and artistic value”, those used regularly in the temple, those which “cannot be considered to be of historical and heritage value”. The committee will recommend measures for conservation and preservation of the articles and suggest and help implement “elaborate” security measures, especially when they decide which of the articles can be displayed.

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