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Tomb of Michael Madhusudan Dutta
The SPSC, LCRC and the St. Stephen’s Cemetery at Kidderpore (earlier known as the Sailors’ Cemetery) contain historical and heritage tombs of various times in history. The historical tombs inseparably linked with the sentiment of Bengal Renaissance, have been dealt separately. As regards the heritage tombs of the earlier era, the tomb of Sir William Jones, Charles (Hindu) Stuart both in South Park Street Cemetery and several others under the notification of the Archaeological survey both in the SPSC and in the Lower Circular Cemetery are being preserved by the Christian Burial Board under the advice of an eminent Archaeologist Advisor

“There are nearly two million European graves of the colonial period on the sub-continent.” (Philip Davies: Splendours of the Raj 1985).

 

“Under what compulsion do we endeavour to restore and preserve historic monuments from the ravages of tropical weather, and the fell hand of time? Colonial funeral sites in particular evoke many ambivalent responses…” Mature minds and the newer generations who feel less oppressed by memories of subjugation take a more detached view of history. “Graveyard Tourism” as unfortunate as the term may sound can be an enchanting experience as hundreds of overseas visitors opine in the Visitors Book in the South Park Street Cemetery. In the year 1978 a massive restoration programme of the SPSC was undertaken by BACSA. (British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia) email : bacsamember@aol.com. Today The Christian Burial Board, Kolkata is comprehensively restoring and maintaining this unique heritage cemetery in a green environment all with its own fund under the personal supervision of its Archaeologist Advisor/Archaeological Engineers and ASI approved contractors in a phased manner. Recently one Dr. Neeta Das, an eminent Conservation Architect as recommended by the BACSA is preparing the conservation estimate of the tomb stones of more than 50% of the 1600 tombs, so that each heritage tomb can be identified by the visitors in future. The Dept of Tourism, Govt. of West Bengal may extend its helping hand to begin a digital show involving historical cemeteries of graves of Calcutta in collaboration with the CBB in future to make this cemetery even more memorable.

Tomb of William Jones
Viewers interested to establish contact with BACSA or for copy of their publication “Chowkidar” may contact Dr. R. L. Jones (e.mail : rosieljai@clara.co.uk).