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Unearthing History - Excerpt From The Book Against All Odds

October 2, 2012, 6:30:00 PM

Benny Kuriakose traces the history of Muziris, blending the universal character of the ancient trade port with that of the ongoing Muziris heritage project conceived and developed on its premises. An excerpt from the book "Against All Odds: Kochi Muziris Biennale," this brilliant article digs down into the depths of the lost, once-flourishing trade port at the southernmost tip of India.

The MHP focuses on retrieving the historical heritage of this cultural region through various initiatives, including historical research, archaeological excavations, integrated heritage conservation and tourism development, and providing public access to historic buildings and sites within the framework of a public-private partnership model.

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This project has set a precedent in India for adopting an integrated approach to heritage conservation and regional development. The intention is that the monuments are not to be seen in isolation, but to be designed in a manner that involves the local communities and integrates the various proposals with the rest of the developmental activities. The Muziris Heritage Project naturally lends itself to bringing back memories of the past, and the project is not about tourism or recreation alone. It is about making a difference—a big difference to conservation, restoration, the study of history, environmental projects, research, the development of craft and art forms, and other community activities.