Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Thanjavur Art Plates


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Prelims level: GI tags in news

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The makers of the Thanjavur Art Plate, with its roots in a craft that dates back to the Marathas of the 1800s, are banding together for its cultural and commercial rejuvenation.

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Thanjavur Art Plates

  • The Thanjavur Art Plate is an artefact which is exclusively made in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • It is a circular plate made as a gift item. It is a handicraft consisting of metals such as silver, bronze, and copper embossed with figures of gods and goddesses at its centre.
  • Patronised by Maratha ruler Serfoji II (1777-1832), Thanjavur Kalai craftsmen were kept busy with orders for royal gifts, mostly decorative salvers, jewel boxes and vessels like water pots and ewers.
  • In its contemporary version, the craft has been commercially reinterpreted as ‘Thanjavur kalai thattu’ or Thanjavur Art Plate, a ceremonial platter made with silver, copper and brass layers in three stages.
  • The base is plated with alternate copper and silver panels, a bigger embossed silver motif on the central section, and the setting of globular jigna or sequins in the secondary relief.
  • It was given a Geographical Indications (GI) tag in 2007, as a proof of its long heritage.

Back2Basics: Geographical Indications in India

  • A Geographical Indication is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
  • This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.
  • Recently the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the logo and tagline for the Geographical Indications (GI) of India.
  • The first product to get a GI tag in India was the Darjeeling tea in 2004.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 (GI Act) is a sui generis Act for the protection of GI in India.
  • India, as a member of the WTO, enacted the Act to comply with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Geographical Indications protection is granted through the TRIPS Agreement.

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