Historical ‘Greek Memorial’ on life support! | 2019-07-22

Historical ‘Greek Memorial’ on life support!

DU Correspondent

22 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Historical ‘Greek Memorial’ on life support!

The historic ‘Greek Memorial’ is located at Teacher-Student Centre on Dhaka University campus. – Reaz Ahmed Sumon

The historical ‘Greek Memorial’ at TSC on Dhaka University campus is in derelict condition, with the authorities concerned hardly paying any attention to renovate it.

Dhaka University (DU) is not only an educational institution but also a carrier of the rich history and tradition of this country. Greek Memorial is such a significant historical monument located at Teachers-Students Centre (TSC)  on Dhaka University (DU) campus. Many historians believe that it was built between 1800s to 1840s by the initiative of JM Macdonald, a priest of St. Thomas Church.  

The Greeks were the last among the Europeans to visit Bangladesh around the 18th century. Greek memorial is a monument that  looks like ancient Greek temples. It was surrounded by four yellow colour walls. The monument is square-shaped with its projecting bay, one on each of the four sides, making a cross plan. The bay is formed by two fluted pillars of Doric order, on which rests the entablature and a triangular pediment. A marble plaque is placed on the entrance of the church. And a line is there in Greek language that “Whom you (God) chosen and taken with, they are lucky”.

It is still alive as a reminder that the Greeks came to this city once and they lived here. The building is actually a mausoleum. The Greeks who lived in Dhaka city 150-200 hundred years ago from today, some of them are buried here.

However, It is considered to be the only such structure outside Greece which is now in a poor condition because the authority didn’t take any step to preserve the historical site.

While visiting on Wednesday, the reporter found that the plaster of the house collapsed, grasses surrounded  the area and the iron gate at the entrance is in a poor condition that it may collapse any time. Experts said that this Greek Monument can also be lost if the authorities don’t take steps immediately.

“It is high time that the authorities took step to preserve all historical sites like Greek Memorial that are still worthy of sculpture of remembrance. This should be documented as much as possible by historians who are researching on these issues,” said Zarif Ahmed, a History student of DU.

Public Administration Student Sabbir Ahmad said, “It’s an important monument which bears memories of Greek merchants and their families. When every country is preserving their historical places, we are neglecting it. It’s time to take proper steps to preserve this site.”

Dhaka University (DU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman told the daily sun, “ We have to preserve this unique heritage. Although it is a matter of the Ministry of Culture, we’ve already taken initiatives to preserve it on behalf of Dhaka University.” He also said that steps will be taken and it will be made public.