Sunday 26 January 2020

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Society | Heritage

Goan churches to have 'museums'

 

The Portuguese era artefacts lying in various churches across the state will now be given a new lease of life by Archdiocese of Goa, which is toying with the concept of 'museums in each of the churches'.

The Church has decided that the Christian heritage artefacts, which are securely lying in various churches, will be preserved by forming special heritage cells, that would be manned by experts. 

Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao recently told a gathering near Panaji that every parish (village level community) can take care of the age-old articles lying in the churches. 

This heritage needs to be "protected, preserved and conserved" in the form of museum, he said. 

"If needed it should be restored so that it can be passed on to the next generation," Ferrao said. 

Christianity arrived in Goa centuries back during Portuguese regime. The state has 27 per cent catholic population, who worship through 180-odd churches and chapels spread across Goa. 

All these structures are architecturally rich and house the monuments, which give a peep into the Christian heritage. 

The archbishop said that "absence of professionals could be disastrous for the protection and restoration of these artefacts." 

"The church is not primarily a custodian of art and architecture. The mission of the church is fundamentally spiritual. A mighty outpouring of human artistic creativity entire to the glory and worship of God has resulted in the Church becoming, defacto, the custodian of immense treasure of culture and artistic heritage," he added. 

The archbishop has asked all the parishes to make an inventory of such artefacts.





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The age-old articles lying in different churches and chapels need to be "protected, preserved and conserved" in the form of museum but I do not think it is a good idea to have 'museums in each church.

The best would be for the Archdiocese to have a centralised museum, may be in Se Cathedral or another big church like 'Santana Church', Ilhas, for these artifacts.

Some of which are rare and students of history could even do Ph.Ds on them.

The idea has come too late. By now, many of the artifacts might have disappeared but 'better late than never', the idea is commendable.

There is no shortage of professionals. Help of ASI can always be taken for such work.

 
Francisco G. Lourenco , London