An ancient cave painting from India’s Badami Caves in Karnataka will be forever preserved inside a mountain in Norway (Arctic World Archive), which is claimed to be the safest place on Earth. By Meenakshi Maidas
The latest addition to digitally stored images from India in the Arctic World Archive (AWA) is one of the earliest surviving paintings from the 6th Century Badami Caves in Karnataka. The first Indian painting that was digitised to be stored at the AWA was among the Ajanta cave paintings. The photographs used for this purpose are by photographer and historian Benoy K Behl, who digitally restored these murals, reports The Hindu.
Sapio Analytics, a Mumbai-based company, and Behl together worked on these murals. The company uses AI created from high-end data-based algorithms. The Ajanta cave painting sent to AWA in 2020 was an image of Bodhisattva King Mahajanaka from the 5th Century. The Badami cave painting of the image of the Queen and the Attendant was virtually unveiled in May this year. Behl told The Hindu that the importance of these images is that they show “India’s continuous tradition of ancient paintings.”
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Arctic World Archive is a “safe repository for world memory,” says the website. The digital data stored here is said to withstand even disasters and remain intact for centuries. It is situated in Svalbard, where the cold weather conditions allow data to be stored safely. AWA preserves artefacts and information from 15 nations that include manuscripts from the Vatican Library, political histories, masterpieces from different eras, scientific breakthroughs, and contemporary cultural treasures. Examples include Norwegian masterpieces, 19th-century Italian photographs, Nobel Prize Laureates, etc.