Dutch support shared heritage in Chinsurah

Trip Start Nov 29, 2013
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Trip End Jan 09, 2014


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Flag of India  , West Bengal,
Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's all about being there at the right place and at the right time. On 5 December just after breakfast Rajat Das pointed out to me an article "Dutch help for Chinsurah heritage revamp" on page 2 of the Times of India by Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey.The good news is that the West Bengal state tourism department has taken action. They revealed a master plan last month detailing how the state government plans to design a heritage circuit in Hooghly including Serampore, Chinsurah, Chandernagore and Bandel — seats of the Danish, the Dutch, the French and the Portuguese respectively.

“After the Danes, it is the Dutch. After Denmark decided to conserve a chunk of Serampore's heritage in Hooghly as a reminder to its colonial past, the Dutch have now come forward to collaborate with the state government over the restoration of Chinsurah, their erstwhile colony.

The first lap of the collaboration has just been sealed and an architect has been employed by the embassy of Netherlands to conduct a detailed survey of the built heritage belonging to the Dutch during the colonial times. The architect is supposed to submit a survey report after studying Chinsurah's legacy over the next six months. Work has started this week.”

The Dutch embassy has already restored another colonial zone in this country — in Cochin (Kochi) — and got interested in starting a similar project in Chinsurah when the state tourism department revealed its master plan.

Namit Shah, honorary Dutch consul in Kolkata was quoted in the article: "It is not just about funding a state government project. It is about re-creating a civilization that existed and spawned here in the colonial times. We are looking at the big picture of stopping the ravages of time and developing the zone as a popular tourist destination".

You can imagine how happy I am if you see my 1989 write up and pictures from Chinsurah that I published on my website in 1997

See also my blog from February 2012 on Chinsurah revisited

Coincidences

Two other interesting coincidences are worth mentioning.
 
Rajat remembered the name Namit Shah that he had also seen on the Indian pages of the PUM Senior Dutch Experts website. That gave me the opportunity to contact him. We did not manage to meet in person.

The second coincidence is that the Times of India Chennai journalist Hussain Kodinhi had a big article published under the headline: Sadras Fort Cries for Attention on the day we arrived in Chennai, 25 February 2012. I countered that with my blog Dutch fort in Sadras in better state than in 1989

As Rajat was saying: "Years pass by without an article published in an Indian newspaper about the Dutch heritage.  And for you it happened twice when you were touring!




 
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Comments

nena on

hey dick, wat mooi, je valt wel met je neus in de boter! veel plezier en succes verder. groeten, ook voor chris, van ons twee.

Martine on

Lijkt me heel goed nieuws!

Sol on

Wow
What a great trip.
Keep take us with you

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