HYDERABAD: A life-size Bodhisattva made of stucco was unearthed by the archaeologists of the State Heritage Department two years ago at Phanigiri, an ancient Buddhist site in Suryapet.The stucco, claimed to be the biggest Bodhisattva sculpture found in the country, was badly damaged and needed restoration. Scarcity of conservators specialised in mending such rare sculptures made of stucco, coupled with the lack of funds, have put the Bodhisattva in isolation, laid with respect in the Centenary Museum at Gunfoundry.
The mending work needs expertise which is a rarity in our country, as a generation of stucco sculpture conservators have aged and the very few menders available are already occupied with similar work elsewhere, according to a source in the Heritage Department.
The department has approached officials from the Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj Vasthu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) in Mumbai for their expertise and has been trying to get conservators/restorers from other countries to mend the stucco, which was found with a partially disfigured face, broken left-arm and portions of legs under its knees missing.
To mend the stucco, restorers would have to look for smaller figurines with identical features and match them with the sculpture. V Srinivas Goud, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Archaeology, had visited the museum when the stucco was unearthed and had assured that it would be restored.