Herald: Now, dress code signpost adorns Basilica entrance
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Now, dress code signpost adorns Basilica entrance

10 Sep 2013 12:00am IST
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10 Sep 2013 12:00am IST

OLD GOA: The Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa has for the first time installed a signboard in front of the basilica asking visitors to be appropriately attired while entering the world-famous site.

TEAM HERALD
bureau@herald-goa.com
 
OLD GOA: The Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa has for the first time installed a signboard in front of the basilica asking visitors to be appropriately attired while entering the world-famous site. 
Church authorities have also arranged for shawls and other appropriate clothing to cover those people found to be scantily clad while entering the church and volunteers have been instructed to strictly implement the dress code at the basilica.
Until now, church 
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authorities had only appealed to visitors to be appropriately clothed while entering the basilica, but this request is now being enforced with a signboard, issued by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The signboard, which has now been placed at the entrance of the basilica, states “The chapel of St Francis Xavier is a holy place sanctified with the sacred relic of St Francis Xavier. Devotees are requested to behave with extreme reverence and respectful silence.”
The board also states that “Out of deference for the house of God and also to respect the sentiments of devotees, proper dress is required for all those who enter this monument. Entry may be denied to those found inappropriately dressed.”
Church authorities had recently convened a meeting with the ASI at Old Goa and had decided to install signboards requesting visitors to dress properly, rather than imposing a ban on scantily-clad guests. 
The 16th century church has been receiving complaints from parishioners who have raised objections about the scantily-clad tourists who usually come during the Mass. Also, there had been suggestions that such tourists should not be allowed to enter the church. 
Some temples in Ponda taluka have already banned the entry of those tourists found inappropriately dressed at the site.  
Explaining the decision to place the signboard at the basilica, Rector of Basilica of Bom Jesus Fr Savio Baretto said: “The information on the board is almost the same as the signboards placed outside the St Peter Church in Rome. At the same time, we have also arranged for shawls to cover those people who are not properly dressed, so that they need not be sent back especially since many would have come from distant places to visit this sacred place.”
When asked who would monitor the visitors entering the basilica, Fr Baretto said the task has been assigned to their volunteers.
“At the moment, we have deputed one person to monitor the movement of visitors and later, we can consider placing two to three volunteers at the site. We are also happy that the ASI has given its full co-operation to install the signboards in front of the entrance to the basilica.
“At present, there is only one signboard placed in front of the basilica, but we plan to ask the ASI to install more signboards along the church gates and entrances at both the sides,’ he said.
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