PUDUCHERRY: The French Consul General in Puducherry, Philippe Janvier Kamiyama, on Wednesday visited the office of the Survey and Land Records and examined the property documents of the period when French ruled the UT. He showed keen interest on the documents preserved at the office and spoke with the District Registrar Shakthivel and Deputy Collector Vincent Rayar.
Later, the Consul General said the consulate would prepare a project for preserving the documents and would explore ways to digitise them for posterity. Kamiyama said that the French Institute of Pondicherry has carried out the digitisation of rare documents for preservation.
Shakthivel said the records were from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries and, if not repaired, they might be damaged permanently.
The Consul General wanted to see the records in person and visited the records room, he said. Kamiyama said he would approach France for assistance.
The French Institute had taken steps to digitize rare palm leaf manuscripts. It also digitized 36,000 black and white negatives of photographs of idols, documented by the French Institute of Pondicherry (Institut Francais de Pondichery).
The institute has a total documented collection of 1.50 lakh photographs of idols of various temples of the country. The documentation of idols through photography, done as part of Institute’s Indology studies, has been going on since 1966.
The documentation of idols of nearly 3,000 temples in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and important temples in other parts of the country was going on.
In addition to the idols, photographs of paintings, rock paintings, jewelleries of gods, goddesses were also documented, he added.
The French Institute researcher said that once the digitisation was completed, a database would be created of all photographs, which would be available online for researchers.