Italy archaeology delegation Ajrak shawl Sindh Culture and Antiquities Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah
Members of the visiting Italian diplomatic mission wearing Sindhi Ajrak shawls are pictured with Sindh Culture and Antiquities Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah. Image Credit: Supplied

Karachi: Italy has shown willingness to work with the Sindh government to establish an institute of heritage at the famous archeological site of Banbhore in the province.

The expression of interest to this effect was shown as an Italian delegation met Sindh Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities Syed Sardar Ali Shah. Consul General of Italy in Karachi Danilo Giurdanella led the delegation that also comprised of the members of the Italian Development Mission. The meeting took place on Wednesday, a day after the diplomatic delegation visited the famous archeological sites of Makli and Banbhore in Sindh. The delegation members reviewed the efforts made by the Archeological Department to restore the two sites. They expressed satisfaction with such efforts.

The delegation also showed interest in working with the Sindh Culture and Antiquities Department to further explore and restore the world-famous archeological sites of Ranikot Fort, Mohenjo Daro, and Makli.

Sindh Culture Minister briefed the delegation that the Antiquities Department and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, based in Karachi, had jointly made much progress to establish an institute of heritage at the historical site of Banbhore in the province.

He said that the next budget of the Sindh government would contain funds for establishing this institute.

He said that Italian experts could provide technical expertise to the Sindh government to establish the institute and that such a foreign collaboration would benefit the students in the province who were keen to study history and culture.

The delegation expressed gratitude to the Sindh Culture Minister for the offer.

The Italian Consul General also showed interest to promote Sindhi handicrafts globally.

The ruins of the ancient city of Banbhore in Sindh date back to the first century BC. The ruins are located about 65km east of Karachi. Pakistan in 2004 submitted the case of Banbhore to declare it a UNESCO World Heritage site.