World heritage Week

Expert lays emphasis on saving heritage of Punjab

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 20

Marking the World heritage Week, the Ministry of Culture, GOI, has initiated a week-long series of seminars and lectures on the theme of ‘Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage and Shared Responsibility’.

Collaborating with heritage conservation experts and organisations, the programme aims to focus on saving the heritage – tangible and intangible — through maximum cooperation with civil and government stakeholders.

Part of the series of lectures, city-based conservation expert Prof Balwinder Singh, a former head of department of Guru Ramdas School of Architecture, highlighted the importance of balancing conservation and development. “One has to ensure that conservation and development are in harmony with each other else our tangible heritage would lose its originality. Amritsar has been undergoing several phases of heritage conservation, yet there are so many structures and intangible aspects of heritage that have not been explored. Celebration of the World Heritage Week is just another reminder for the generation to save it,” he said.

Singh, who has been critical of the conservation projects being carried out without acknowledging the original structural aspects of several key heritage buildings in city, said Punjab has really never got serious about its conservation. “I was once called to visit the Patti Fort, a historical Mughal fort built in 1755AD. It’s a wonderful and magnificent structure but botched up attempts to conserve and restore it have messed with its original character. Techniques like repointing in conservation must be done right with accuracy,” he added.

The professor has previously laid stress on reinforcing the conservation areas and Listed Buildings Act, Punjab, to protect historic cities in the state.

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