According to sources, the Ministry of Culture will invite people to bring their artefacts to the government centres, after which the authenticity of the pieces will be established.
Once they are proven to be more than a century old, the antiquities would be showcased at exhibitions. These pieces would be given a tag, to establish that they are real antique pieces, after which interested buyers could purchase such items.
The process will not only help to identify the antiquities in the possession of people, but also help the owners get them certified by the government, the sources said.
"Once assessed for their authenticity, these items can then be sold to prospective buyers," the sources added. Sale of antique items is currently prohibited under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, and can invite a fine up to Rs 5,000.
As per the Act, antiquity is referred to any article or object of historical interest that has been in existence for not less than one hundred years. Coins, sculptures, manuscripts, epigraphs, other works of art of craftsmanship, objects or things illustrative of science, art, crafts, literature, religion, customs, morals or politics in bygone ages, are also declared as antiquities under the Act.
The plan to preserve historically important objects is in the final stage and would go a long way in preserving the ancient culture. Officials believe that a large number of century-old antique objects are subjected to destruction due to carelessness.
( With inputs from IANS )