Transforming the greying structures to pristine glory — By Serish Nanisetti on The Hindu com
The transformation of some of the restored Qutub Shahi Tombs is stunning to say the least. The greying darkling tombs with shrubs growing out of cracks and flaking plaster are a thing of the past. Or at least a few of them that have been restored the way they were constructed in the first place.
Spreading the technique
If the restored Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah’s tomb is getting a dressed stone parapet just like the other tombs, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture is also helping spread the technique of lime plastering.
In a huge area, in a series of tanks, slaked lime is being processed for use. “We soak the lime for nearly two months before it is used. It is sieved and then mixed with various organic materials like molasses (for stickiness) and wood apple (water proofing). Only then it is applied. For finishing one tomb without any marks, we employed a huge number of workers to give the final coat on a single day,” says Ratish Nanda of AKTC who is spearheading the conservation work. The smooth finish and the even look of the monuments have made many photographers unhappy. “I want to assure them that after one monsoon, the monuments will have the same photographic texture as before but without the harm and seepage that was an issue earlier,” says Ratish with a laugh.
Currently, the AKTC is busy with the Abdullah’s mosque which was damaged by layers of concrete plastering. “We have restored one of the minarets and we are in the process of completely restoring it to pristine glory,” informs Prashant.
Now, it remains to be seen how the legal challenge mounted
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Conservation caught in legal crossfire — by Yunus Y. Lasania on The Hindu com
Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which has taken up renovation of the tombs, is facing court battle in Wakf Tribunal
At the heart of the battle is a gazette notification from the Wakf Board which shows that only a portion of the entire 108 acres of land has been notified.
According to the July 1, 1982 gazette, only seven tombs, some mosques and specific areas of land have been notified. So to who does the rest of the area or the necropolis belong to? According to senior Wakf Board officials, the property belongs to the board, even if it is not documented. “The law clearly states that ‘by user’ it becomes Wakf property,” he said.
Though in the case of the Qutb Shahi tombs, the Wakf Board has no role to play in terms of management and upkeep, though it comes under the Wakf land, said the official. “In the ongoing case, we have no role to play so as far as the matter of management is concerned, but if the issue of the tombs ownership comes into question, we will step in,” said Mohd. Asadullah, CEO, State Wakf Board.
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The citation being presented at the award ceremony in the city on Saturday. Anuradha Reddy (right) of Intach looks on.- Photo: By arrangement