Bucknell calls for pvt investments to restore heritage assets
Kolkata: Private investment is required to restore the heritage assets here, British Deputy High Commissioner Bruce Bucknell said.
Fortunately the private sector is coming forward to save many such sites of heritage, Bucknell told reporters after unveiling of the restored RNM Galleria by a heritage conservationist in the city last evening.
Stating that the city has rich associations in so many places, Bucknell said he would certainly work towards drawing the attention of the private sector to support the cause. "I am very supportive to various organisations working with this objective".
Observing that there are not just buildings retaining British or European architectural style, he talked about some of the lesser known terracota temples in different parts of Bengal.
He said one should keep in mind that architecturally preserved places could draw more visitors from outside and not just Britishers.
"I am delighted to be here to support this fantastic building (RNM Galleria) where restoration took five long years with private investment. It is a labour of love," he said.
The building was constructed in 1910 and restored in the past five years.
Referring to the 'Danish Tavern' restored in Serampore and serving customers as a cafeteria, he said "such social models may make an impact on heritage restoration. If you can't generate income you can't preserve."
US Consul General Craig L Hall said Kolkata remained special because of its rich US connections "having one of America's oldest diplomatic posts in the city as President George Washington nominated the first American Consul to Kolkata in 1792.
Kolkata has also been a very enriching place and "we have so many common interests of things in which we work together - from culture to science," he said.
The RNM Galleria will promote performing art, house The Calcutta Heritage and Art Club and a Cafe Galleria 1910 on its different floors.