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AKTC Work in the world
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Artists of the Aga Khan Music Initiative Ensemble present Contemporary Music from the East
With Homayoun Sakhi, Salar Nader, and special guest, Wu Man


The Aga Khan Music Initiative Ensemble is a collective of master musicians who create new music inspired by their own deep roots in the cultural heritage of the Middle East and Mediterranean Basin, South Asia, Central Asia, West Africa, and China. This special performance features three master musicians from the ensemble: Homayoun Sakhi, master performer of the Afghan rubâb; Salar Nader, virtuosic tabla player; and Wu Man, world-renowned pipa player. These three unparalleled musicians link countries and continents, and present and past, through their explorations of diverse forms of classical, folk, and contemporary concert music.

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http://asiasociety.org/new-york/events/artists-aga-khan-music-initiative-ensemble-present-contemporary-music-east
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

200 years on, Paigah tombs to get a facelift

Hyderabad: The Paigah Tombs that are decorated in stucco work and represent Mughul, Greek, Persian, Asafjahi, Rajasthani and Deccani styles, have no parallel in the city in terms of style of architecture.

Cosmetic changes in the past

The Archaeo-logy Department took up the protection of this place in 1990
Some settlers were evicted from inside the compound in 2009
Beautification work was done but no repair work for biodiversity conference in 2012
However, now after almost 200 years, those historical relics are going to get a fresh lease of life. As part of the Swadesh Darshan scheme of the Union Tourism Ministry, these tombs come under the heritage circuit in Hyderabad and Rs 4.10 crore has been sanctioned for bringing back to the old grandeur to the tombs.

Lying in a derelict state, these tombs near Santosh Nagar could easily replicate the success story of Humayun Tomb in Delhi that now attracts more than 10 lakh tourists after renovation. Telangana Department of Archaeology & Museums (DAM) director N R Visalatchi says, “Unlike other monuments, the Paigah Tombs have intricate design that include jalli work on walls and doors and stucco work of very high quality.

The conservation part is being undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and the amenities for the interpretation systems such as lighting, pathways, compound wall, landscaping and other facilities for tourists would be done by the Archaeology department.

http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Commoner/2017-10-12/200-years-on-Paigah-tombs-to-get-a-facelift/332818
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Festival celebrates country’s rich heritage

Excerpt:

Speaking with The Express Tribune, Aga Khan Trust for Culture Pakistan CEO Salman Beg said that the festival brought out amazing display of rich and important historical features of our heritage. “It was conducive to provide the international delegates with a picture of what efforts AKTC and WCLA are jointly making in preserving the heritage. We hope that next year’s conference attendees will get to see more case studies being presented on preservation of heritage,” Beg added.

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https://tribune.com.pk/story/1538668/1-festival-celebrates-countrys-rich-heritage/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afghanistan: Hope Takes Root

VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8tSYDbXGiQ

Published on Oct 20, 2017


Copyright: Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme
For related content and more information on this video, see http://archnet.org/media_contents/129372
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kmaherali



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Posts: 16803

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wazir Khan Mosque Chowk restored to original form

LAHORE - The newly restored Chowk of Wazir Khan Mosque was officially opened by the U.S. Consul General Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau here the other day.

Funded by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), the project has been completed at a cost of $1.19 million.

Director General of the Walled City of Lahore Authority Mr. Kamran Lashari, the CEO of Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan, Mr. Salman Beg, and representatives of the conservation team, the Masjid Wazir Khan , and the community were present on the occasion.

“Sites like the Wazir Khan Mosque Chowk in Lahore’s historic old city are a testament to the city’s rich and multilayered history,” said Consul General Kennedy Trudeau.

She further stated that the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation supported the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in countries around the world. She hoped that this project will serve as enduring sign of the respect the Americans have for Pakistan, its culture, and its people. “It is fitting that this grand opening takes place as Pakistan celebrates its 70th anniversary as a nation. Pakistan Zindabad!”, she observed.

The restoration took place from October 2015 to May 2017 in partnership with the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan and the Walled City of Lahore Authority. The project consisted of digging 2.5 meters to separate the existing street level and the original ground level of the forecourt of the Chowk . It also included the conservation of the Dina Nath Well, a public well located in the northeast section of the square.

The Chowk will now return to its original function as a public space and will increase tourism and economic growth for the surrounding community. With $1.19 million in funding, the restoration of the Chowk of Wazir Khan Mosque is the largest AFCP project in Pakistan.

The AFCP is a U.S. government sponsored initiative that has awarded $55 million since 2001 in support of more than 870 projects in 125 countries. The U.S. Mission has worked with federal and provincial governments and other partners on a total of 19 grants throughout Pakistan since the fund’s establishment.

http://nation.com.pk/18-Nov-2017/wazir-khan-mosque-chowk-restored-to-original-form?show=preview
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old City of Kabul Urban Regeneration

Description
The movie, Afghanistan: Hope Takes Root, presents the conservation and cultural work of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) since it became active in Afghanistan in 2002. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Afghanistan designs and implements cultural heritage and restoration projects to promote Afghan culture and makes historical sites, landscapes, and residential quarters safe and usable. To date, AKTC has restored over 145 individual heritage sites, ensuring their continued use by future generations and helping to preserve Afghan cultural identity. These projects, undertaken in coordination with local communities, are a means to invest in access improvements, infrastructure upgrading, and vocation training, which contribute to improving quality of life and socio-economic opportunities for local residents.

VIDEO
https://archnet.org/media_contents/129372
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qutb Shahi tombs: Telangana government signs pact with Aga Khan Trust for Culture

HYDERABAD: The state department of Archaeology and Museums on Wednesday signed an MoU with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) . Taking forward the agreement that was signed by the Trust and the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government in 2013, for conservation of Quli Qutb Shahi Tombs, this MoU is for the second phase. The first phase of the plan will end in January 2018.

B Venkatesham, Telangana tourism secretary, signed the MoU with Luis Monreal, general manager of AKTC in the presence of NR Visalatchy, director of archaeology and museums and Ratish Nanda, CEO of the Trust, India. The tourism secretary said that though the works were scheduled to be completed by 2023, with 60 per cent of the restoration and conservation works already done, the project might be completed by 2021-22 itself.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/telangana/2017/dec/07/qutb-shahi-tombs-telangana-government-signs-pact-with-aga-khan-trust-for-culture-1720721.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Subz Burj: Oldest double-domed monument in the heart of city set to be renovated

By the end of 2018, this sombre atmosphere is expected to change, as Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have begun conservation work at the double-domed Sabz Burj.

The 22-metre high Sabz Burj, at the intersection of Mathura Road and Lodhi Road, has led a lonely life. Surrounded by the cacophony of screeching honks from cars, the sprawling lawns of the 16th Century tomb play host to mostly pigeons.

By the end of 2018, this sombre atmosphere is expected to change, as Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have begun conservation work at the double-domed Sabz Burj.

Since November, artisans have been putting in place glazed tiles in two shades of blue, green and yellow on the drum of the tomb, which fell off years ago. “We chose not to go with modern tiles… these have been made by locals using old techniques, and have been hand-compressed. The tiles are not just decorative, they also protect the tomb from water,” said Ratish Nanda, CEO, AKTC.

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http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/subz-burj-oldest-double-domed-monument-in-the-heart-of-city-set-to-be-renovated-5021234/

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Qutb Shahi tombs: Conservation pact extended till 2023

CHARMINAR: Efforts for the ongoing conservation works of Qutb Shahi tombs, located in Ibrahim Bagh (garden precinct), close to Golconda fort, received a fillip, as the MoU between archaeology department and Agha Khan Trust was extended until 2023.The deadline for the MoU was initially set at December 2017.

Qutb Shahi tombs, also known as the seven tombs, was nominated as a Unesco World Heritage Site. It represents a blend of Persian, Pathan and Hindu architectural styles. The Quli Qutb Shah Archaeological Park comprising Qutb Shahi tombs complex and Deccan Park is one of the most significant historic medieval necropolises with 70 structures within its complex. It also encompasses 40 mausoleums, 23 mosques, five step-wells/water structures, a hamam (mortuary bath), pavilions, garden structures and enclosure walls built during the reign of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty that ruled the Hyderabad region for 170 years in the 16th - 17th centuries.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/qutb-shahi-tombs-conservation-pact-extended-till-2023/articleshow/62439712.cms
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kmaherali



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Posts: 16803

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Int’l workshop on conservation being held at Lahore Fort

LAHORE: A three-day international workshop to highlight the conservation of the 1,450-feet long and 50-feet high ‘Picture Wall’ – a famous expanse of decorative glazed tiles and wall paintings — will be held at the Lahore Fort on Monday (today). According to Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), prototype preservation was carried over a 45-feet high and 30-feet wide panel on the western segment of the Picture Wall by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and the WCLA, involving the experts from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and Sri Lanka. The three-day workshop is a follow up on the prototype. The Picture Wall reflects the highest standards of 17th century Mughal period craftsmanship and is one of the key reasons for the inscription of the Lahore Fort as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. AKTC and the WCLA and Punjab Government are jointly holding this event, which will bring together national and international expertise from various disciplines including conservation, architecture, engineering, material sciences, history, archaeology, planning, anthropology, and heritage enthusiasts. Notable policy makers, federal and provincial government departments as well as key donor representatives will attend the workshop. The purpose of this collaborative effort is to review the work carried out on the prototype on a panel of the Picture Wall and to generate professional discussion on a framework for further intervention. Once this workshop is concluded, with the agreement of all the experts the work on the remaining wall will be started by WCLA and AKCSP. In his statement, Aga Khan Cultural Service-Pakistan CEO Salman Beg said that country affiliate of AKTC, carried out preliminary documentation of the Picture Wall in 2015-2017 as part of the larger Lahore Fort Conservation Project.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/181329/intl-workshop-conservation-held-lahore-fort/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan Music Initiative fosters ethics of Cultural Preservation, Education, and Cosmopolitanism

A music and arts education program within the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) promotes pluralism and cultural revitalization through the medium of music.

AKMI was developed in order to support the extraordinary talents of artists dedicated to preserving and disseminating their culture’s musical heritages. Its programs originated in Central Asia and later expanded to South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. AKMI has several areas of focus including enhancing education in the arts, preserving musical traditions through contemporary forms, and curating worldwide performances.

One of the central aspects of AKMI's mission is music education. In Central Asia, it has launched curriculum development centers and music schools in order to sustain local musical traditions and offer advanced training to students. It has also collaborated with the University of Central Asia to produce a pioneering music textbook, “The Music of Central Asia,” that presents the music of this region through a scholarly lens.

In addition to promoting music education, AKMI also curates performances and organizes collaborations among artists from various cultures. It focuses on supporting musicians known as “traditional innovators,” or those who strive to produce contemporary compositions rooted in traditional musical styles.

One recent performance organized by AKMI was held at Asia Society in New York on November 1, 2017, following the presentation of the Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award to Mawlana Hazar Imam. The performance featured three musicians from differing cultural and musical backgrounds: Afghan rubâb player Homayoun Sakhi, percussionist Salar Nader, and Chinese pipa player Wu Man. The program featured several pieces that included ancestral, classical, and modern styles of music, including a traditional pashto gharani, a duet for the pipa and tabla, and the “Josh” composition, which received a standing ovation.

The concert was attended by the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations, Mohammed Saikhal, as well as the Ismaili Council for the USA's President Barkat Fazal, Vice President Zahir Ladhani, and Ismaili Council for the Northeastern US' President Shajahan Merchant.

Through these performances and initiatives, the AKMI strives to develop vibrant musical communities that are dedicated to preserving artistic traditions in order to foster pluralism and strengthen civil society.

https://the.ismaili/aga-khan-music-initiative-fosters-ethics-cultural-preservation-education-and-cosmopolitanism

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Timurid art on Delhi’s little known Subz Burj to get a revamp

For a century, the Timurid artwork on Subz Burj has remained buried under layers of chemicals used during its restoration in 1920s


Intricate artwork on the ceiling of Subz Burj — the double-domed octagonal tower on the roundabout next to Humayun’s tomb complex — will be visible after 100 years.

For a century, this Timurid artwork has remained buried under layers of chemicals used during its restoration in 1920s. The conservator, Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), has now decided to rope in foreign experts to rehabilitate the ceiling painting.

“This tomb has high domed ceiling bearing intricate artwork instead of incised plaster, which is rare in ancient structures that existed in Delhi. The ceiling has lost its lustre and paint patterns because of application of chemical layers in 1920s,” said Ratish Nanda, chief executive officer (CEO), AKTC, adding that International expertise has been sought to undertake repair and correct ceiling painting.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monument of pre-Mughal era was built shortly after the Mughal armies defeated the Lodi Afghan dynasty in AD 1526 though it is not known, who had commissioned it. It was built in the Timurid style of architecture from Central Asia.

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http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/timurid-art-on-delhi-s-little-known-subz-burj-to-get-a-revamp/story-C9A7Ou2OT40mD3btqrN4bL.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Know why it’s high time to bring restoration projects in tune with contemporary time

Excerpt:

Secondly, the approach should encourage “going outwards” to make the area more accessible to the people living around it. How they perceive the monument, what are their concerns and how they can be tackled are some questions that need to be answered first and foremost. And this is what the people behind the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative in New Delhi are keeping in mind. The ongoing project, which started in 2007 and aims to restore the three historical sites of Humayun’s Tomb, Nizamuddin Basti and Sunder Nursery in south Delhi, is led by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the Public Works Department and the Archaeological Survey of India. “We had no preconceived notions in our head when we started the project. We went with an open mind and allowed the people to come to us with their problems. Based on those issues, we took it forward,” says Ratish Nanda, CEO, Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Today, Nizamuddin Basti, located adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb, is a success story. Once a densely-populated locality, which lacked sewage pipes, it today has a clinic, proper sewer lines, schools run by locals, public toilets and even a gym. “The women of the locality asked us for a gym, so we decided to build one for them. We had never thought of it in the first place,” says Nanda, adding, “When we first came here, the women didn’t work professionally. As our volunteers reached out to them, they began to understand the importance of earning. Today, they are teaching, some stitch, some do embroidery, etc.”

The initial years were tough though, says Nanda. “It was difficult in the first three-four years. People didn’t believe us or our work. They felt we would occupy their place and remove them from their homes. Gradually, as they saw our work, their perceptions changed. One needs to be persistent,” he says. The restoration of Humayun’s Tomb, too, which was completed in 2013, deserves a mention. The site, which, till a decade ago, had a leaking dome, missing tiles, collapsing walls and damaged stone façades, is a site to behold today. The restoration work started in 2007 and it took six years for the monument to regain its older glory. “The process took time, as the monument was in a bad shape. We had to find different alternatives at various stages to fix it,” says Nanda.

More...
http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/know-why-its-high-time-to-bring-restoration-projects-in-tune-with-contemporary-time/1023571/

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Agha Khan Trust For Culture Team Calls On Punjab CM

LAHORE, Jan 18 (APP):A delegation of Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Thursday called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.
The delegation was led by General Manager Luis Monreal.

During the meeting, expansion of programme for protection and conservation of historical places was discussed. The delegation pledged for providing technical assistance with regard to conservation, repair and maintenance of Shalamar Gardens and Jahangir’s Tomb.

The CM appreciated different welfare-oriented steps taken by the Aga Khan Trust and added that its services in the field of education and healthcare are commendable.

Mutual cooperation between the Punjab government and Aga Khan
Trust is expending day by day and steps have been taken for restoration
of historical places as well as the centuries old walled city. The
Punjab government should provide all sorts of resources for preservation
of Shalamar Gardens and Jahangir’s Tomb as we only need technical assistance and expertise of Aga Khan Trust, he added.

General Manager Luis Monreal said that support to the Punjab government with regard to restoration of historical places would continue and expressed satisfaction that partnership with the provincial government had proved wonderful.

This partnership would be expanded in future as well, he added. Director of Historic Cities Programme Cameron Rashti and Chairman Board of Directors of Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan Akbar Ali Pesnani were included in the delegation. DG Lahore Walled City Authority Kamran Lashari was also present on the occasion.

https://www.app.com.pk/agha-khan-trust-culture-team-calls-punjab-cm/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rebirth of a tomb

Excerpt:

Till recently, Tilangani's tomb was almost completely enclosed by present-day construction, built by multiple families living in different parts of the structure. A few months ago, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture started the process of relocating the families and clearing a portion of the area around the tomb. The central chamber was made accessible and many feet of accumulated earth and debris were removed to reveal multiple graves. The structure is being strengthened to prevent collapse. As more of the edifice is painstakingly uncovered, the detailing and elegance of its architecture are slowly being exposed.

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https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/from-india-today-magazine/story/20180212-khan-i-jahan-tilangani-aga-khan-trust-historical-monuments-delhi-1160806-2018-02-03

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New finial for Hakim’s tomb

Excerpt:

Who were the Hakims?

Hakims were the traditional doctors who treated the Qutb Shahi royalty. As the tombs are not identified, it remains a conjecture who exactly is buried here. Syed Ali Asgar Bilgrami in his Landmarks of the Deccan identifies one of the tombs as that of Hakim Nizamuddin Ahmad Gilani, and the other as that of Hakim Abdul Jabbar Gilani. The other job of Hakim Abdul Jabbar Gilani was to read Hadith in the presence of the King during the month of Moharrum.

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http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/new-finial-for-hakims-tomb/article22500667.ece

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Kachchrapur to Safaipur: The magical transformation of a historic Delhi neighbourhood (IANS Special Series)

Excerpts:

Through an initiative by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and the hard work of the slum children, there has been a visible but silent transformation of the area not only in physical terms, but also in its economic and cultural aspects.

"Nobody likes to be in kachrapur or malbapur (towns of garbage and debris). Safaipur (clean-town) is the destination of our train," 11-year-old Abbas told IANS, referring to "safai express", one of the popular games that kids here play every week.

The sanitation drive in the form of a game was introduced to them by volunteers of AKTC's Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal Initiative. While the initiative started in 2007, it had to be put on hold due to construction of the Barapullah Flyover, and resumed in 2012.

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http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/kachchrapur-to-safaipur-the-magical-transformation-of-a-historic-delhi-neighbourhood-ians-special-series-118020400175_1.html
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resurrected monuments at Qutb Shahi tombs set to be thrown open in March

Aga Khan Trust for Culture has been carrying out conservation work at the site
The blue barricades that kept people away from key monuments inside Qutb Shahi tombs complex are set to be removed as the first phase of work is nearly complete.

A walk inside the complex shows cleaner lines and an aesthetically organised set-up as gardeners water the lawns. “We are planning to throw open the area to people by March and release a conservation manual on the occasion to show all the work that went into the first phase of conservation. It will help future generations and other conservation efforts,” said N.R. Visalatchy, Director, Heritage Telangana.

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http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/resurrected-monuments-at-qutb-shahi-tombs-set-to-be-thrown-open-in-march/article22682711.ece
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10 years on, Sunder Nursery to debut as a heritage park

NEW DELHI: At 90 acres, Sunder Nursery is comparable in size to the famed Lodhi Garden. But it doesn’t receive many visitors as it’s understood as a place to buy plants. This week, this is set to change as a renovated Sunder Nursery opens to the public as a heritage park.

For over a century, this place has been a nursery, and 20 acres are still an active nursery maintained by CPWD. The rest of the area would now be a treat for nature lovers and heritage enthusiasts. The nursery was renovated by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), and following an agreement signed last December, AKTC would maintain the park for 10 years. For that, requisite infrastructure would be built such as a garden house to showcase flora, a cafe, toilets etc.

So far, the park is open only on weekdays up to 5pm. This would be stretched and even weekends would be open days. Security and other maintenance infrastructure would be put in place by October. Entry would be ticketed.
Sunder Nursery rivals the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the huge variety of flora and fauna. Earlier, the area only housed Mughal garden tombs. At the beginning of the 20th century, the British converted the area into a nursery for the new capital city. In 2007, following an MoU between CPWD, ASI, the municipal corporation and AKTC, conservation and landscaping works started. AKTC has built similar parks in Kabul, Cairo, Chantilly (France) and Edmonton (Canada).

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/10-years-on-sunder-nursery-to-debut-as-a-heritage-park/articleshow/62989353.cms
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lost garden emerges: Sunder Nursery, Delhi, India

The location of Sunder Nursery, adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb Complex and Nizamuddin Basti, largely follows the Mughal Grand Trunk Road connecting significant monuments. The landscape design aims to enhance the historic character of the nursery, attract visitors and provide a seamless pedestrian connection with Humayun’s Tomb Complex. The project will create a major landscape space of truly urban scale, deriving inspiration from the traditional Indian concept of congruency between nature, garden and utility, coupled with environmental conservation.

http://www.akdn.org/gallery/lost-garden-emerges-sunder-nursery-delhi-india

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Sunder Nursery: VP opens 90-acre park in Delhi, hails PPP model

New Delhi, Feb 21 Sunder Nursery, a lush 90-acre park in south Delhi restored over a period of 10 years, was today inaugurated by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who described it as a "magnificent" and a successful story of public-private-partnership model.

The park, which will be open to the public from tomorrow, neighbours the iconic Humayun's Tomb, a World Heritage site.

"With the opening of this park, the capital will now have a great addition to its green spaces. One day it will become the national park of the city. This is a model and a successful public-private-partnership (PPP) story," Naidu said.

The vice president also said plans are afoot in the government to extend this green space to Purana Quila.

The park, which began as a nursery over a century ago to feed the new British capital coming up here, has been developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in partnership with the CPWD and ASI and the SDMC.

Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini (the Aga Khan IV), who jointly opened the park along with Naidu said, "The park is being dedicated today to honour the past with the future on mind."

"Almost seven centuries ago, a Sufi saint walked the path here, standing for the teaching of universal love...It is with the same pluralistic and harmonious spirit that we dedicate the park today," he said.

The Aga Khan said in the work done on the park "divine blessings" meets "human creativity".

As many as 20,000 saplings of 280 tree species have been planted - making Sunder Nursery, the Delhi's first arboretum; and over 80 bird species have already been recorded since the overgrown and decrepit nursery was replaced with green cover.

The centre piece of the park is the Sunder Burj, endowed with embellished artwork on its inside dome and walls.

A new central axis has been created rich with fountains and gardens.

"Six of the 15 monuments on the site have been designated as World Heritage monuments following conservation and landscape restoration; and facilities such as an amphitheatre have been built and more are planned," the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) said.

Sunder Nursery is the seventh park of urban scale developed by the AKTC, it said.

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/iran-teams-carry-plane-crash-dead-down-from-mountain/1258112?scroll

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https://twitter.com/PIB_India/status/966311629410332672

Vice President @MVenkaiahNaidu inaugurates the heritage garden complex Sunder Nursery, in New Delhi

https://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/inauguration-of-heritage-garden-complex-sunder-nursery/#more-179607
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Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=sXn0j0bT2SA

Watch: Sunder Nursery in Delhi opens as heritage park

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10 years on, Sunder Nursery to debut as a heritage park

NEW DELHI: At 90 acres, Sunder Nursery is comparable in size to the famed Lodhi Garden. But it doesn’t receive many visitors as it’s understood as a place to buy plants. This week, this is set to change as a renovated Sunder Nursery opens to the public as a heritage park.

For over a century, this place has been a nursery, and 20 acres are still an active nursery maintained by CPWD. The rest of the area would now be a treat for nature lovers and heritage enthusiasts. The nursery was renovated by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), and following an agreement signed last December, AKTC would maintain the park for 10 years. For that, requisite infrastructure would be built such as a garden house to showcase flora, a cafe, toilets etc.

More..
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/10-years-on-sunder-nursery-to-debut-as-a-heritage-park/articleshow/62989353.cms

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The Sunder Nursery - Creating a sustainable environment in New Delhi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=AvCdwlk-ESM

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Delhi’s ‘lost’ Mughal garden reopens as public park

https://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2018/02/21/delhis-lost-mughal-garden-reopens-as-public-park/#more-179590

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Photos: Sunder Nursery near Humayun’s Tomb opens as heritage park

https://www.hindustantimes.com/photos/india-news/photos-sunder-nursery-near-humayun-s-tomb-opens-as-heritage-park/photo-cfPFjZ7mjxo6O6uWkFnCPO.html

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Sunder Nursery in full bloom

Revamped by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to create a 90-acre city park; to be inaugurated today
Sunder Nursery that was established over 100 years ago to breed specimens for the new Capital’s avenues and gardens has been revamped by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in collaboration with the Central Public Works Department, Archaeological Survey of India and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to create a 90-acre city park.

Spring flowers, lush gardens, natural water bodies and monuments nestled together make the urban oasis a space that can be enjoyed by those who love nature and culture and heritage.

On Tuesday, the AKTC organised a walk around the nursery detailing how it was restored from a pile of rubble to its current state.

More...

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/sunder-nursery-in-full-bloom/article22812630.ece

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February 21: Delhi and beyond, in pictures

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/images/india-in-picture-february-21-2018

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Delhi gets first-of-its-kind 90-acre heritage park

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday inaugurated Delhi's first-of-its-kind arboretum and a city heritage park developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in a 90-acre area near the Humayun's Tomb.

He also announced that plans were afoot to extend it further to a 900-acre green public space.

"This is an important day for the historic city of Delhi. Today, it's in 90 acres. But we are discussing among ourselves in the government and plans are afoot to extend it further to Purana Qila and make it a 900-acre huge green public space," he said.

Aga Khan, who is on an an 11-day visit to India, was present on the occasion.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/660768/delhi-gets-first-its-kind.html

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A Once-Forgotten Mughal Garden Reopens In Delhi As Public Park
The 90-acre (36-hectare) garden will be formally opened by the Aga Khan, whose Trust for Culture has helped recreate the classical garden and restore its crumbling 16th-century monuments.


https://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/this-once-forgotten-mughal-garden-reopens-in-delhi-as-public-park-1815389

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Sunder Nursery: 10 years of building a paradise garden

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/sunder-nursery-10-years-of-building-a-paradise-garden-118022200344_1.html

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Historic park in Delhi containing World Heritage monuments reopens after ten-year restoration

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/2018/03/23/heritage-park-reopens-delhi/

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Up-close: The new-look Sunder Nursery, a world heritage site Delhi had forgotten

A photo essay that takes a close look at the newly-renovated Sunder Nursery which is next door to Humayun’s tomb.

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Delhi's new mega park; 90 acre park opens in Indian capital

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVzrnG9preM

Published on Feb 21, 2018

Delhi's new mega park; 90 acre park opens in Indian capital. Similar parks in Cairo, France and Canada. Watch the video to know more about the news.



https://theprint.in/governance/sunder-nursery-a-unesco-world-heritage-site-in-delhi-that-was-resurrected/41303/


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mawlana Hazar Imam inaugurates Sunder Nursery

Earlier today, Mawlana Hazar Imam presided over the inauguration of Sunder Nursery in Delhi, together with Vice-President of India and guest of honour Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Sunder Nursery, a 90-acre city park situated in the heart of the nation’s capital, incorporates distinct heritage and ecological and botanical zones as part of a wider urban renewal initiative in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi. The complex lies in the vicinity of the shrine of the great sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, who lived in the region in the 13th and 14th centuries, and after whom the area takes its name.

As part of a public-private partnership, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) commenced conservation and landscaping works at the site in 2007. Designed by the late landscape architect Professor M. Shaheer, the area has flourished into a park comprising of formal and informal gardens, water features, orchards, pavilions, bird habitats, and a sunken amphitheatre for cultural events and festivals. The Mughal-inspired central areas feature marble fountains and flowing water set amidst geometric flower beds, and raised pathways.

In his remarks at the inauguration ceremony, Mawlana Hazar Imam stated “it is the garden, down through history, that has often symbolised the harmonious interaction of divine blessing and human creativity. This merging of nature’s gifts with human design is an ideal that is deeply embedded, of course, both in Indian culture and in Islamic traditions, with the flow of refreshing water reminding us of the abundance of divine blessing.”

During his speech, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu acknowledged Mawlana Hazar Imam’s contributions to the Nizamuddin area and beyond.

“The work that has been accomplished so far at Humayun’s Tomb, Nizamuddin Basti, and Sunder Nursery Complex is magnificent and truly very impressive,” Venkaiah Naidu said. “For Nizamuddin Auliya, like many great saints of India; love of God implied the love of humanity. It is quite fitting that this inaugural ceremony is being held in your presence, Your Highness, because you have demonstrated the spirit of love of humanity through your innumerable activities.”

The newly inaugurated Sunder Nursery in Delhi marks the seventh such park undertaken by AKTC, joining a variety of similarly developed and restored green spaces in urban areas of Afghanistan, Canada, Egypt, Mali, Tajikistan, and Zanzibar. These parks have contributed not only aesthetic beauty through gardens and green environs, but also public spaces for leisure, and the potential for socio-economic progress in the local area — in the process providing a springboard for development.

“All of these projects were designed to honour the past — while also serving the future.” said Hazar Imam addressing the audience. “And it is with the future in mind that we now dedicate the Sunder Nursery as one of the world’s great public parks — open to all for recreation, for contemplation, for education, and for inspiration.”

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/mawlana-hazar-imam-inaugurates-sunder-nursery
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SPEECH DELIVERED BY His Highness the Aga Khan
LOCATION New Delhi, India (21 February 2018)

Inauguration of the Sunder Nursery, New Delhi


Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

Honourable Vice President of India
Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital of Delhi
Honourable Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs
Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
Excellencies
Distinguished Guests

I am deeply honoured - and so very happy - to share with you in today’s ceremony. I have followed the Sunder Nursery project with keen interest for many years – going back at least to the year 2000, when the Aga Khan Trust for Culture first undertook the restoration of the Gardens of Humayun’s Tomb, just next door.

I also remember the day ten years ago when we signed - with the Government of India and its agencies - the Public-Private Partnership which has so effectively advanced this great cultural complex. We signed that agreement in 2007, and our partnership over these past ten years has been remarkable.

Our deepest gratitude goes out today to all of our partners - including the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the Central Public Works Department, and the Archaeological Survey of India, as well as to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US Embassy through the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. Likewise, the hundreds of craftsmen – stone carvers, plasterers, masons and gardeners - deserve our warmest appreciation and recognition.

And I would also salute the memory of the late Professor M. Shaheer - who sadly is no longer with us. Professor Shaheer worked with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for 18 years. He was the landscape architect for our project here at Humayun’s Tomb, as well as restorations in Kabul and in Hyderabad. His contribution to the Sunder Nursery project was immense -from the original master plan through to the detailed drawings. We think gratefully of him today as we see the results of his planning.

The ground on which we stand has been a centre of cultural history for a very long time. It was nearly seven centuries ago, for example, when the Sufi Saint, Nizamuddin Auliya, walked these paths and shared his teachings of universal love. That same message of tolerance and humanity would soon infuse the splendid Mughal empire – also centred here - with its Grand Trunk Road passing through this very terrain. From here, some one-quarter of the world’s population was once governed in a remarkably pluralistic, harmonious, spirit.

It is in that same spirit of universal harmony that we dedicate these Gardens today. For it is the Garden, down through history, that has often symbolised the harmonious interaction of Divine Blessing and Human Creativity.

This merging of Nature’s Gifts with Human Design is an ideal that is deeply embedded, of course, both in Indian culture and in Islamic traditions, with the flow of refreshing water reminding us of the abundance of Divine Blessing.

The Sunder Nursery expressed these same values when it was created here - almost one century ago, in 1924. The name, Sunder, itself, has its roots in ancient Sanskrit - often described as the world’s oldest language - where “Sunder” simply means “beautiful.”

The purpose of the Sunder Nursery a century ago was to gather the most beautiful plant species from every corner of the British Empire - and then to share them with the rapidly developing city of New Delhi.

But even as we reflect on these rich traditions, we also know that they have sometimes been neglected. Under pressure from exploding populations and shrinking budgets, too often crowded buildings have been squeezed into dense spaces – overlooking the importance of open greenery in healthy urban landscapes. Some have suggested that open spaces are unproductive - or even wasteful - ignoring their aesthetic, recreational and economic potentials - as catalysts for tourism, for education, for community development and for sport.

To restore, create and revitalise beautiful green spaces has been a prime goal of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in recent years - with ten notable successes in places ranging from Cairo to Zanzibar, from Toronto to Kabul, from Dushanbe in Tajikistan to Bamako in Mali – and, of course, here in India.

All of these projects were designed to honour the past – while also serving the future. And it is with the future in mind that we now dedicate the Sunder Nursery as one of the world’s great public parks - open to all for recreation, for contemplation, for education, and for inspiration.

Just think of what a lively, energetic place this will be in the days and years to come. Already, we are told, a vast array of birds and butterflies have made their new homes in these restored spaces. And soon they will be joined by school children coming here to experience a variety of new micro-habitats, by scientists advancing their ecological research, by artists meeting audiences in the beautiful Garden amphitheatre, by historians and other visitors engaging with dozens of preserved historical monuments.

As we think about this lively future, we also know one more thing: our economic planning means that the Sunder Nursery will also be a self-sustaining entity.

It will truly be - a gift from the past that will keep on giving - long into the future.

Thank you.

http://www.akdn.org/speech/his-highness-aga-khan/inauguration-sunder-nursery-new-delhi
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India at the inauguration of the 16th-century heritage garden complex Sunder Nursery in New Delhi on February 21, 2018.

New Delhi | February 21, 2018
“Today is an important day for the historic city of Delhi. Our capital city will have a great addition to its open public spaces in the form of Sunder Nursery.

What has really made the occasion all the more special is the presence of His Highness Prince Aga Khan amidst us.

Your Highness, we are presently in the backdrop of the dargah of one of the most respected Sufi saints on the Indian subcontinent, Hazrat Nizamuddin.

Nizamuddin Auliya’s message is timeless and universal. It is a message that emphasizes love as a means of realizing God.

Amir Khusro, the great poet, a great son of India and the most admired disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin says:

“Khusrau Darya prem ka, ulti wa ki dhaar,

Jo utra so doob gaya, jo dooba so paar”

“Oh Khusrau, the river of love runs in strange directions.

One who drowns gets across to the other side”

For Nizamuddin Auliya, like many great saints of India, love of God implied the love of humanity.

It is quite befitting that this inaugural ceremony is being held in your presence, Your Highness, because you have demonstrated this spirit of love of humanity through your innumerable activities,

Your Highness, on behalf of the Government and people of India, I extend a very warm welcome to you. We all congratulate you on the Diamond Jubilee of your leadership.

The celebration of Diamond Jubilee of your leadership is also an occasion to reflect on your long and deep association with our country.

People of India have great admiration and immense respect for you and for the global network that you lead.

The public service that you have rendered selflessly to our citizens in vital development areas like education, health, microfinance, and sanitation, and the professional and innovative manner in which the projects are implemented, is truly an inspiration to all of us.

The work that has been accomplished so far at the Humayun Tomb-Nizamuddin Basti-Sundar Nursery complex is magnificent and truly impressive.

Sunder Nursery is an excellent example of public-private partnership in an urban development project and is in line with Government’s focus on improving cleanliness as well as quality of life of the citizens.

I would like to congratulate the team of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Aga Khan Foundation which has implemented the Sunder Nursery Park as a part of the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative.

The initiative has fully met its three objectives of conservation of Humayun’s Tomb and its adjacent monuments; improving the quality of life for the citizens; and the development of the Sunder Nursery into a world class park. I am certain that the Interpretation Centre at the Humayun’s Tomb Complex will soon be completed and will be yet another milestone in the success story of this project.

It demonstrates the promising pathway for future projects of restoration of the historical monuments.

Not only are we preserving the past but we are also laying a foundation for a great, sustainable future.

The innovative blending of heritage restoration, environment protection and employment creation is the best way forward.

Your Highness, we are also very happy to be working with the Aga Khan Foundation, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) on the historic Stor Palace in Kabul. That too is a project which has been implemented with the characteristic innovativeness and professionalism that you are so well known for.

Your visit to India will help us even further enhance the momentum of this very unique relationship which we share with the Aga Khan Development Network and its sister organizations.

Your Highness, I thank you once again and wish you a pleasant stay in India.

Thank you. Jai Hind!

http://vicepresidentofindia.nic.in/speechesinterviews/address-shri-m-venkaiah-naidu-honourable-vice-president-india-inauguration-16th
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video: Mawlana Hazar Imam inaugurates Sunder Nursery

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture commenced conservation and landscaping works at Sunder Nursery in 2007. The area has since flourished into a park comprising of formal and informal gardens, water features, orchards, pavilions, bird habitats, and a sunken amphitheatre for cultural events and festivals. The Mughal-inspired central areas feature marble fountains and flowing water set amidst geometric flower beds, and raised pathways.

https://the.ismaili/diamond-jubilee/video-mawlana-hazar-imam-inaugurates-sunder-nursery

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15 monuments back to glory, courtesy Aga Khan Trust

As many as 15 monuments dating back to 16th century nearby the majestic Humayun Tomb are now back to their splendour here in Nizamuddin area.

Along with this, a nursery spread in a 90-acre area, which houses these monuments, has also been transformed into a magnificent heritage city park.

The heritage park offers a unique blend of nature, culture and ecology.

Thanks to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), under which the monument restoration and city park development, work has been done in line with the those created by it in Kabul, Cairo, Mali and Zanzibar.

The Sunder Nursery, as the site was named with its establishment in the early 20th century to serve as a plant nursery for the British, will now serve as Delhi's first of its kind arboretum and micro-habitat zone with almost 300 tree species, many of whom are rare.

It took more than 10 years to bring the area back to its glory with a unique ensemble of 16th-century garden tombs.

Of the 15 monuments conserved in the 90-acre area, six carries Unesco's world heritage site.

The AKTC commenced the conservation and landscape work at the Sunder Nursery after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Central Public Works Department, the Archaeological Survey of India and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation in 2007.

More..
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/660574/15-monuments-back-glory-courtesy.html
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE SUNDER NURSERY NEAR HUMAYUN’S TOMB IN DELHI TURNS OVER A NEW LEAF

February 21, 2018 happened to be a monumental day for a historical landmark of Delhi—Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), in partnership with the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), inaugurated the Sunder Nursery Park restoration project.

As part of it, a century-old nursery adjoining Delhi’s popular Humayun’s Tomb was converted into a sizeable heritage, ecological and nursery zone over the span of a decade. To truly ascertain the scale of the project, take a look at these statistics: a 90-acre expanse with 280 native tree species (making it Delhi’s first arboretum or botanical garden dedicated to trees), 4,200 mapped trees, 20,000 saplings, a biodiversity zone spanning 30 acres, 20 acres of nursery beds, 80 bird species, 36 butterfly species and 15 historical monuments.

More...
https://www.outlookindia.com/outlooktraveller/destinations/things-to-do-delhi-sunder-nursery/

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Sunder Nursery gives Delhi a beautifully restored green space – and a template for heritage

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture believes its restoration of the 90-acre park in the capital can be a model for other heritage and green areas in Indian cities.


Excerpt:

“Liberalisation in the 1990s in India saw the private sector come into almost everything else,” said Ratish Nanda, a conservation architect who heads the Aga Khan Trust’s operations in India. “With this park, the first public-private partnership on something like this, we hope to show that there is a template for the private sector to be involved in India’s heritage too.”

More...
https://scroll.in/magazine/869920/sunder-nursery-gives-delhi-a-beautifully-restored-green-space-and-a-template-for-heritage

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INDIA HERITAGE PARK CONSERVATION

Sunder Nursery inaguration after its conservation

http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=104&oid=091&aid=0006371403
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan Music Initiative premieres Qyrq Qyz (Forty Girls), pioneering multimedia production based on Central Asian epic tale

Geneva, Switzerland, 28 February 2018 - The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) breaks new ground as a producer and incubator of cutting-edge artistic work with the multimedia production Qyrq Qyz (Forty Girls), whose world premiere will take place at Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center for the Arts on 1 March, 2018. Following performances at Dartmouth, Qyrq Qyz will travel to other venues in the northeastern United States before winding up a month-long USA tour at the prestigious Brooklyn Academy of Music on 23-24 March. A full tour schedule appears below.

More...
http://www.akdn.org/press-release/aga-khan-music-initiative-premieres-qyrq-qyz-forty-girls-pioneering-multimedia

https://www.bam.org/music/2018/qyrq-qyz

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Stepping out of purdah, they find their feet

NEW DELHI: At 35, Shah Jahan is a mother of a college-going daughter and son in Class XI, having married at 15 and become a mother a year later. She doesn’t want such a life for her daughter. “Her education is my priority, after which I want her to pursue her dream of becoming an artist,” says Jahan.
Jahan’s progressive thoughts perhaps have to do with the fact that she has stepped out, is earning a livelihood and is working at the same time to improve the living conditions for the 12,000 residents of congested Nizamuddin basti. For years, women like her were confined to their homes with no role to play in community development or their own growth, and in their conservative homes, education was a luxury bestowed upon women. Their lives changed with the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative, which began in 2007 through a public-private partnership among the Archaeological Survey of India, Central PWD, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Aga Khan Foundation.

More..
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/stepping-out-of-purdah-they-find-their-feet/articleshow/63208927.cms

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Performance piece ‘Qyrz Qyz’ reimagines Central Asian epic tale

Ancient story of female warriors features traditional music, contemporary film

http://www.browndailyherald.com/2018/03/20/performance-piece-qyrz-qyz-reimagines-central-asian-epic-tale/

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Central Asian artists bring postmodern life to ancient oral traditions in US staging of women warrior epic
BY ZHANNA SHAYAKHMETOVA in CULTURE on 22 MARCH 2018

ASTANA – “Qyrq Qyz” (“Forty Girls”), a multimedia theatrical performance directed by Uzbek filmmaker Saodat Ismailova, will debut at New York’s BAM Harvey Theatre March 23 and 24. The show premiered March 1 at the Hopkins Centre in Vermont.

More...
https://astanatimes.com/2018/03/central-asian-artists-bring-postmodern-life-to-ancient-oral-traditions-in-us-staging-of-women-warrior-epic/


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Landmark Penang garden gets RM300,000 makeover

Excerpt:

The concept masterplan for the overall project is developed by the George Town Conservation and Development Corporation (GTCDC), a tripartite partnership between the Penang state government’s Chief Minister’s Incorporated (CMI), Think City Sdn Bhd and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/landmark-penang-garden-gets-rm300000-makeover#TdOfTltVrtetMSCo.99
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pakistan aims to revive glory of ancient Mughal city Lahore

Excerpt:

Pearl of the Punjab

But as security across Pakistan continues to improve, officials are hoping to revive Lahore’s lost glory.

More than 40 conservationists with the the WCLA — including engineers, architects and ceramists from across the globe — are currently working on restoring the mosaic mural on the fort’s exterior.

“It’s one of the largest murals in the world. It contains over 600 tile mosaic panels and frescos,” says Emaan Sheikh from the Agha Khan Trust for Culture.

Restoration of the mural is just part of a larger project to refurbish the fort, which includes conservation projects in the royal kitchen, the summer palace and a basement, according to WCLA’s director general Kamran Lashari.

More...
http://www.gulftoday.ae/portal/c07a9827-4161-4815-8179-e950a3890404.aspx
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Guardian picture essay
Alive with artisans: Cairo’s al-Darb al-Ahmar district – a photo essay


Amid the historic quarter’s busy streets, a thousand workshops maintain centuries-old craftmaking traditions. These workers’ ancient skills are celebrated in a new exhibition at London’s Royal Geographical Society

by Harry Johnstone, photography by Christopher Wilton-Steer

Excerpt:

The area, covering just under a square mile, contains more than 40 monuments built during successive Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman eras. In collaboration with the government, many of these, such as the Aqsunqur mosque and Amir Khayrbak complex, have been restored by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) – a non-denominational organisation that works to improve the welfare and prospects of people in the developing world.

More...
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2018/mar/21/cairo-artisan-district-al-darb-al-ahmar-photo-essay
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The real magic of the Taj Mahal

Excerpt:

The biggest threat to what is left, said Koch, is the general encroachment of the city.

And yet there is a glowing example of what can be achieved in bringing back these Mughal jewels. At Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, the vast garden complex of a 16th-century emperor has been returned to something close to its original glory. The first phase began in 1997 with the restoration of the 26-acre enclosed garden. The work will be completed next year.

In addition to restoring the massive red sandstone and marble pavilion, and its garden, the project included the restoration of 10 smaller mausoleums dating to the 16th century. The restorations have been led by the Aga Khan Development Network, whose agencies provide cultural, medical, educational and other aid in developing countries. It is headed by the Aga Khan, the wealthy, jet-setting and philanthropic leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims.

More...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/the-real-magic-of-the-taj-mahal/2018/03/15/23e972ba-eb41-11e7-b698-91d4e35920a3_story.html?utm_term=.7edf50a8cf9d
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wazir Khan Hammam — a 17th century wonder

The most important attribute of this hammam is that it is the only one of its kind in Asia

Excerpt:

Then came the year 2012 when the Walled City of Lahore Authority, understanding the importance of Shahi Hammam, removed 52 encroachments from its façade and set out the conservation plan. Aga Khan Culture Services Pakistan extended their technical support for conservation, and in 2014, the Royal Norwegian Embassy funded the conservation. This process was completed in 2016 and the same year Shahi Hammam won the Award of Merit by UNESCO for best conservation practices in Pakistan.

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https://dailytimes.com.pk/218255/wazir-khan-hammam-a-17th-century-wonder/
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thehindu.com/society/there-are-a-hundred-ways-to-fix-a-building-ratish-nanda/article23334426.ece

There are a hundred ways to fix a building: Ratish Nanda
Neha Bhatt
March 24, 2018 16:25 IST

Conservation is not mathematics, says the man behind the renewed Sunder Nursery, which aims to rival the Mughal Gardens

It’s close to lunchtime and the sun is beating down on us, but noted conservation architect Ratish Nanda is in his element, guiding me through Sunder Nursery, the meticulously curated heritage park.

The park was opened to the public last month after a nearly decade-long restoration and redevelopment project. It sits next to Humayun’s Tomb, which, along with Nizamuddin Basti just across the road, forms the core of the 44-year-old Nanda’s work as chief executive of Aga Khan Trust for Culture in India.

Over the last decade, Nanda and a team of over a 100 people have transformed this corner of the city, originally designed by late landscape architect M. Shaheer, into what they now call Delhi’s ‘Central Park’.

Dressed in a blue kurta, white pyjamas, and sandals, Nanda takes me past pockets of thick greenery that make up ‘the city’s first arboretum’. A pair of peacocks flies overhead. In place of the mounds of rubble and illegal construction that once took up room here, the park is now home to 80 species of birds, 280 species of trees, a garden amphitheatre equipped with a rainwater harvesting system, sunken gardens, waterbodies, nursery beds and six restored monuments over 90 acres.

The central axis — the primary pedestrian spine inspired by traditional Mughal gardens and Persian carpet patterns — is lined with fountains and leads to the restored monument of Sunder Burj. Past the intricate jaali-work, my eyes travel to the ceiling that displays painstakingly redone stone carvings. I can’t help but exclaim.

Nanda looks pleased. “Exactly. I was waiting for that reaction. That’s what conservation is all about.” I think back at the conversation we had earlier about which side of the conservation debate Nanda sits on and why.

Parks as refuge

When we had met an hour ago in his office on the fringes of the Sunder Nursery grounds, Nanda was contemplative even as he played the gracious host. He offered me a coffee, which he proceeded to make himself. With the French Press left to do its work on a wooden rack lined with jars filled with a variety of coffee blends and tea leaves, he settled into a chair to give me a sense of the work he does and why.

“When I was in charge of Bagh-e Babur (in Kabul)” — he points to a framed photograph of the heritage park hanging on the wall to my left — “... a lot of people would say, why the hell are you building a park, we are a war-torn society, we want schools and healthcare. Today, 35,000 people go to the park every week. So these parks are really a refuge. We hope Sunder Nursery too will improve the quality of life here. It is built as a city park to rival the Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan,” he says. But Nanda doesn’t view any one heritage initiative in isolation because “conservation cannot be limited to monuments.

It needs to be holistic and take into account health, education, road improvement, museums, ecology, everything.”

Often, Nanda ends up working seven days a week. How does he sustain the energy to work on projects with timelines of 10 to 20 years? A certain kind of pacing and understanding of the work at hand is what it takes, he says.

“What we are trying to do here is not change the world. We are trying to provide a model that other people can follow. These things take time. The time to design, negotiate, get approvals, implement, and put in place a management system. These are not little interventions, these are major, mega projects that usually NGOs don’t undertake.” It requires layers of work, and working in partnership with the government.

So, do regime changes affect his work? “We have no political agenda. We are here to restore heritage that we see as an economic asset. Already, we have demonstrated it by a 1,000% increase in ticket sales at Humayun’s Tomb.”

It’s a team

As he tells me about his effort to work with the same material and the same tools as the original builders did to bring back the essence of the structure, Nanda attends to our coffee. Is it too strong? Too cold?

Nanda isn’t comfortable basking in glory, even though his is a recognisable face on the culture circuit.“This office has at least 30 different disciplines working together, which is needed in a historic urban context. You can’t have the spotlight on me because it is not my work. It is the work of a hundred people,” he insists. I quiz him on a piece in The Herald (Scotland) from 20 years ago that quoted him saying, “Conservation has changed my life. For me it is sacred. You are dealing with someone else’s work. You have to put your own ego to one side. There’s a strange satisfaction which keeps propelling you.” Does he still feel this way? Nanda chuckles. He was “young and immature” back then, he says.

What drew him to heritage conservation? “I studied architecture and I was repulsed by what we are doing to our cities and quite taken in by how buildings used to be built just 50 years ago.” It is not a straightforward career, quite like photography, “where you have to look for the light, look for the right frame, and you have to bully me into posing,” he half jokes. “You need a passion towards heritage but also commitment towards your nation. It’s not just another career.”

A plan for Delhi

One of the main objectives has been to demonstrate what is possible, and how conservation should be done in an Indian context. “The conservation movement is more concerned with criticising what is not happening or what is going wrong. I think there has been very little private or non-governmental engagement with conservation. That’s changing rapidly. Now there are various government schemes, and the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Urban Development are involving non-state players,” he says.

Nanda turns thoughtful when I ask him how he views Delhi today. “Delhi is still very fortunate to have enclaves and a lot of heritage. But we need to figure out what we want the city to be. We should plan future development while being respectful of the past.”

What frustrates him is lost heritage, like a monument ruined beyond recognition, beyond repair. “When the evidence of what it was once is lost, all you can do is preserve. Preservation is not a virtue. It is majboori (compulsion), for the lack of a better word. When you cannot bring back the vision of the original builder, then you cannot ensure the structural stability of the building.”

This brings us to the question of what for him is the true spirit of conservation — which remains a hotly-debated subject that swings between restoration and mere preservation. His pride at watching visitors stare open-mouthed at the restored craftsmanship of the monuments he took charge of makes the answer plain. But he isn’t close-minded, inviting independent peer reviews. “Conservation is not mathematics; it is determined by the significance of the monument. There are a hundred ways to fix a building.”

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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rare Kabul exhibition brings taste of Mughal art back home

Excerpt:

Babur loved Kabul and was buried in the garden which he ordered to be created after he conquered the city in 1504. It was largely destroyed in the 1990s but was restored with the help of the Agha Khan Foundation in 2008.

The garden remains a popular picnic spot with Kabul families but the artistic riches of the Mughal court have disappeared from the city, with not a single original painting from the period known to be left in Afghanistan.

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-art/rare-kabul-exhibition-brings-taste-of-mughal-art-back-home-idUSKCN1H813B

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Kabul Treated To Mughal Art Exhibition

However, the garden and palace was largely destroyed in the 1990s but was restored with the help of the Agha Khan Foundation in 2008 and the Queen’s Palace has since been used for many exhibitions.

The latest one, “King Babur’s Kabul: Cradle of the Mughal Empire”, aims to bring back some of Afghanistan’s heritage to the people.

https://www.tolonews.com/arts-culture/kabul-treated-%C2%A0mughal-art%C2%A0exhibition
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keynote Lecture by Ratish Nanda at Kalapana 2018

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtwCAb-zhQE

A lecture presentation on Day 2 of Kalapana 2018, on ‘Rethinking Conservation: Qutb Shahi Heritage Park, Golconda, Hyderabad’ was given by Ratish Nanda, conservation architect and CEO, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, India. His talk presented the conservation and restoration work underway of the Qutb Shahi tombs and other monuments at the park. A visually rich presentation, Ratish illustrated the rigorous methodology of a conservation team, and how their job is to repair and restore, and never to recreate that which is lost “for aesthetic reasons”.
The presentation was held at Coomaraswamy Hall, CSMVS Mumbai on 13th February, 2018 at 6.30 pm as part of Kalapana 2018 - a Tata Trusts initiated event to discuss and deliberate new technologies as applied to the arts. This year Kalapana focused on the themes of Art Education and Conservation.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who’s Going to Save India’s Dying Buildings? Aga Khan Trust Has an Answer

Award-winning architect and India CEO of Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Ratish Nanda, takes us through why heritage conservation can help local communities and further socio-economic development.

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https://www.thebetterindia.com/136650/aga-khan-ratish-nanda-sunder-nursery-heritage/

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World’s largest picture wall

Excerpt:

A report by Aga Khan Trust for Culture reveals that this wall was constructed of small brick masonry with lime mortar; the bricks used were a special size, specific to the Mughal period. It is also said that there are variety of decorative schemes used on the facade including the typologies of glazed tile mosaic work, filigree work, fresco painting, brick imitation work, glazed lime plaster, pietra dura work, stone fret work, cut and dressed brick work, and terracotta screens. I wonder what effort would have gone into the construction of this gigantic wall, which still stands majestically today inside the Fort.

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https://dailytimes.com.pk/220858/worlds-largest-picture-wall/
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