High-tech guards for Sigiriya damsels
The National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Ministry will soon
introduce micro-climatic monitoring equipment, electro-optic holographic
machinery and infra-red thermography techniques at Sigiriya rock
fortress to ensure long-term preservation of its historic frescoes and
This is in keeping with the instructions of President Mahinda
Rajapaksa , said National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Minister
The Committee appointed by President Rajapaksa to identify ways to
preserve the Sigiriya frescoes after his recent inspection visit to
assess the current state of the frescoes, has recommended the need to
import modern equipment and machinery to prevent the rock paintings from
being damaged by air pollutants and biological agents.
The Ministry will not bring foreign experts to restore Sigiriya
frescoes. Minister Wanniarachchi said, “we have all the expertise we
need in the country to preserve the frescoes.”
The local experts in ancient frescoes preservation including
scientists and engineers attached to the Archeology Department last week
handed over a report on the current state of the Sigirya frescoes to
Minister Wanniarachchi with recommendations to provide security and
protection to the frescoes.
She said the report was called for by the President and she handed
over the report to President Rajapaksa.
The Cultural and Heritage Ministry has been asked by the President to
monitor the frescoes on a 24-hour basis for factors such as humidity and
sunlight on the the surface of the frescoes, Ministry sources said.
Wanniarachchi said they have sent samples from discoloured Frescoes
for microorganism tests to Peradeniya University to determine how they
should go about restoring the frescoes to its original state and to
prevent them from decaying. Minister Wanniarachchi said she is waiting
for the results of laboratory tests conducted by the Peradeniya
University on the fresco surface.
The report will be sent to the President for further evaluation , she
The National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Ministry is doing its best
to protect the frescoes, she said.
The President’s orders came following an inspection by him to
Sigiriya last month where he spotted several white coloured stains that
have appeared on the surface of Sigiriya.