“The panels of Amaravati are the finest example of Indian classical art from two millennia ago. The Buddhist narratives made around the first few years of the common era represent unparalleled artistic merit, whose influence in the subsequent Pallava, Vakataka and Chola art is immense. They give us exquisite insights into the lives of courts and people of Southern India from 2,000 years ago,” says MS Shanmugham IAS, commissioner of museums.
Sreemathy Mohan, who is organising the event for Chennai Museum, tells us, “Chennai Museum’s prized possessions are the finest bronze collections and Buddhist antiquities. This topic on Amaravathi marbles has always been interesting right from the day Sir Walter Elliot excavated in the 1840s. Col Colin Mackenzie had visited the site in 1798 itself. In 1845, these were transported to Madras from Machilipatnam port and placed in the East India company’s college in Fort St George. Later, it was removed to the front of Museum in Egmore, and kept outside due to paucity of space.”
Prathik Sudha Murali is a passionate public speaker on the spheres of heritage, literature and art of India.