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Scottish team in Gujarat to document ancient heritage

Tuesday March 08, 2011 10:18:00 PM, IANS

New Delhi: A team of heritage conservators and digital and design experts from Scotland has arrived in Gujarat to document ancient Indian heritage for global archive.

The pioneering project aims to digitally record the "Rani Ki Vav Stepwell", known as the "Queen's Step Well" from India's pre-colonial days.

It is part of the Scottish 10 project, a global heritage documentation initiative.

The well is considered to be at risk from erosion and decay. The Gujarat project is a collaboration between the Archaeological Survey of India and the Scotland government.

In a statement released by the Scotland government Tuesday, Fiona Hyslop, minister for culture and external affairs, said "the visit is a fantastic opportunity for the two countries to combine expertise and showcase Indian heritage on a world stage".

Hyslop said the "Scottish 10" was helping Scotland become a world leader in the use of digital documentation technology.

The historic "Rani Ki Vav Stepwell" dates back to 1050 AD and is made up of stepped terraces descending into the ground, adorned with around 400 sculptures representing a range of Hindu themes.

Under the project it will be digitally documented, for the first time, using laser technology.

The step well is currently on the UNESCO list for consideration as a World Heritage Site. The digital documentation will help bring the site a much wider national and international profile.

Doug Pritchard of the Digital Design Studio at The Glasgow School of Art, a part of the team, said: "The Queen's Step Well clearly illustrates the sophistication and magnificence of Indian architectural heritage and I hope that by working with the Archaeological Survey of India we will be able to assist in conserving this structure for future generations."






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