Karl Schmidt Memorial at Beasant Nagar was built in memory of Danish Sailor Karl Schmidt in 1930. He went to the beach and found a girl was drowning in the sea. He jumped and saved the girl’s life but lost his own life. Then Governor of Madras, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir George Frederick Stanley to remark the gallant act done by Karl Schmidt erected this memorial in Beasant Nagar beach.The sculpture in the monument reads, “To commemorate the gallantry of K A J Schmidt who was drowned near this spot on December 30, 1930 while helping to save the lives of others.”
The monument does not contain any foundation and was completely built on bricks and survived the worst Tsunami that was witnessed by Indian beaches.The memorial was well maintained till 1990 and after that due to lack of maintenance the structure lost its shine and started to have multiple cracks and was in a state it could collapse any time. The memorial was mostly used as urinating place and to throw litter.
Karl Schmidt Memorial at Beasant Nagar recently had a facelift and was very happy to see that the monument now has got its due respect. The credit for facelift goes to various groups and residents of Beasant Nagar who constantly approached Corporation of Chennai,Archaeology departments. Finally their voice was heard and action was taken to give a complete facelift to the memorial.
Fibre wrap technology was used to restore the structure. Restoration specialists from Mahabalipuram who were trained to work with limestone and carvings were involved to restore the structure.The restoration team was headed by K. Rajendran who has been associated with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) since 1985.The whole project was overlooked by archaeologist T Sathyamoorthy. To improve the strength of the structure they opened it up and filled it with large granite slabs and replaced the bricks around it.Total of 110 granite slabs were inserted The cracks were repaired by inserting rods and then building the plaster filled with chemicals around it.The memorial has got lighting and fences surrounding it to protect it from vandals. We should take responsibility and protect this heritage structure in beasant Nagar