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Unsanctioned excavation destroys historical site in Bilehdoo

Mariyam Malsa
12 May 2019, MVT 12:18
The 'vevu' or ancient stone bathing area in Bilehdhoo, Faaf Atoll. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF ARTS, CULTURE AND HERITAGE
Mariyam Malsa
12 May 2019, MVT 12:18

Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage on Saturday issued a statement criticising the island council of Bilehdhoo, Faafu Atoll, for excavating an ancient stone bathing area known locally as 'vevu', despite being instructed otherwise.

According to the statement, the matter came to the ministry's attention through social media posts.

Upon discovering that the 'vevu', which is included on the list of historical sites in Maldives, was being excavated, the Heritage Ministry instructed the council to halt work via phone calls and letters. However, Bilehdhoo Island Council continued excavating the area despite the directions.

While the ministry denounced these actions as a violation of the law, it did not confirm whether or not any actions would be taken against the council.

Ministry of Heritage stated that excavation at the site was prohibited to prevent irreparable damages that may be incurred if such work is conducted without adhering to set guidelines.

Furthermore, the ministry urged citizens to report information about any newly discovered historical sites.

'Vevu' is a circular stone pool used as public bathing areas in ancient times. These prime examples of ancient architecture were discovered in various locations across Maldives, some of which date back to the pre-Islamic era.

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