A slice of history, from seven decades ago, may soon be standing. The Archeological Survey of India restores the only surviving flag of Indian independence, deployed on August 15, 1947, at the Fort St George Museum in Chennai. The flag is from the ASI reserve collection and its condition has deteriorated over the decades.
Now, ASI officials, with the help of experts from the Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research, the Silk Board of India and the ASI’s own section of the chemical branch, are currently working on the process of restoration.
ASI officials said the flag restoration process began in November 2020 and would be ready within a month.
“ASI’s chemical branch section is working on it now, and it should be ready in 15 to 20 days,” said Mr. Kalimuthu, chief archaeologist of ASI’s Chennai circle.
ASI officials said experts first assessed the flag’s condition.
âA preliminary analysis to determine the material composition, number of threads, thickness, measurements and brittleness was performed using a microscopic lens. The team had to pay attention to the flag’s fragility, part of it was in critical condition, âan official said. DH on condition of anonymity.
The official said other tests, including a non-destructive analysis technique, had also been carried out.
The flag, measuring 12 feet by 8 feet, is made of pure silk and was deployed at dawn on Independence Day. The flag was donated to Fort St George by the Madras government a few months later.
In 2013, it was displayed to the public on Republic Day. On display, it was encased in a glass box, surrounded by silica gel, and a machine to measure the light on the flag helped keep it intact. ASI officials said it was the only surviving tricolor that was deployed that day.
Concerns about its status have repeatedly risen, and INTACH has publicly offered to restore it. The conservation organization had even written to ASI and offered to cover the cost of conservation.
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