R-Day violence: Antiquities inside Red Fort missing, tableaux damaged, says Union minister

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New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel on Thursday said some antiquities inside the Red Fort are missing and tableaux showcased at the Republic Day parade damaged, two days after a section of protesting farmers laid siege to the iconic structure.

During the tractor parade of farmers on Republic Day, a group of farmers had entered the Red Fort premises and climbed on to the ramparts.

'All the tableaux are kept in the Red Fort premises after the Republic Day celebrations. These are viewed by the public for seven to 15 days. When I went there, I saw that these have been damaged. These include the culture ministry tableau and the Ram Mandir tableau. In fact, all the tableaux have been messed with,' said Patel at a press briefing.

He further said that while an assessment of the monetary loss in the violence can be ascertained, he was more worried about the loss of antiquities which are priceless.

'The antiquities are priceless. While we can access the monetary loss, how can we gauge the loss of antiquities? The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (or AMASR Act) was formulated to protest the treasures of the past. This is the major loss,' he said.

Earlier, Patel had ordered an enquiry into the matter and even sought a report from the ASI.

'Outside lights were destroyed, first floor information centre has been damaged. The place where the flag is permanently displayed which is the most safe and significant area there were brass antiquities, two of which are missing,' he said.

He said that action will be taken under Section 30 of the AMASR Act against those found guilty of the crimes. PTI ASG RHL