Symposium on Our Heritage At Risk: The Problem of Managing our National Monuments
Date & Time: 5th June 2018. 10 am onwards
Venue: Audio Visual Room, Centre of Advanced Study Department of History, AMU
A few years back it was Humayun’s Tomb which was handed over in the name of Conservation to a private trust, the Agha Khan Trust. They instead of conserving, renewed and rebuilt it! The original layers of plaster and drawings were removed and replaced by what engineers and architects of the Trust thought it to be!
Not only the emperor’s Tomb but a number of Monuments in the vicinity, the so-called Sundar Nursery structures too were rebuilt! Even today this official vandalism is being carried out at the Tomb of Abdur Rahim Khan-i Khanan! Even in far off Andhra Pradesh, similar fate awaits the famous Golcunda Monuments and Tombs!
More recently the government of the day is bent upon selling our National Heritage to private hands. A beginning has been made by selling off the Red Fort to the Dalmia group! There is loud thinking of mortgaging even the iconic Taj!
At a number of occasions, even our Archaeological Survey of India has sullied its hands in such wanton destruction: a case in point is of “tailoring” certain Monuments at Fathpur Sikri to satisfy the whims of some of its misguided officers!
The Indian History Congress had in the past passed resolutions against such wanton destructions. In 2014 a resolution for example was passed against the mishandling and deliberate destructive “renovation work” at Humayun’s Tomb.
In order to remind our rulers to desist from such acts and protest against attempts to give our Heritage structures to private groups who have neither an understanding nor the wherewithal to renovate or interpret our built heritage, the Centre of Advanced Study Department of History is organising a one Day Symposium. All of you who care about our National Heritage are requested to attend. The programme is as follows:
(1) Irfan Habib (AMU): What Constitutes a Monument and Their Protection
(2) Jamal Hasan (New Delhi): Can preservation be a private enterprise- A case of Red Fort?
(3) Shireen Moosvi (AMU): Private Interests and Monument Management and Conservation: The Case of Humayun’s Tomb
(4) S Ali Nadeem Rezavi (AMU): Canons of Preservation and Medieval Monuments: A Case of Fathpur Sikri
(5) Shama Mitra Chenoy (DU): Heritage Conservation and Delhi Monuments
(6) A Representative of Deccan Heritage Trust: Experiences and Problems of Conservation in Hyderabad Monuments