A delegation from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) visited Maldives from August 14-20 on the invitation of the Government of Maldives to conduct a detailed study for a project to undertake restoration of ancient mosques in Maldives.
The 4-member team, led by Dr BR Mani, additional director general, visited several mosques in various islands and held meetings with the Maldivian delegations in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and the Department of Heritage led by Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed and Deputy Minister of Education and Director of Heritage Department Yumna Maumoon.
Both sides welcomed the proposal for a MoU between ASI and the heritage department, and the renovation and preservation of ancient cultural heritage in the Maldives.
The ASI delegation visit is a follow-up of the visit of Shaheem’s visit to India in April 2014, during which co-operation between India and Maldives in this area was discussed.
India had previously assisted the Maldives in restoration of several ancient mosques including Hukuru Miskiy (1988), Eid Miskiy (2006), Dharumavantha Rasgefaanu Miskiy (2004) in Male and Fenfushi Hukuru Miskiy in South Ari atoll (2001).
Six of the country’s coral stone mosques are currently being considered for UNESCO world heritage site status.