Humayun Tomb to open doors after 6-yr renovation

Over six years of conservation work, 2,00,000 days of painstaking work by master craftsmen and 16th-century Humayun Tomb is all set to receive large number of people.
“It gives me great joy to be here this evening in a spot that is replete with the grandeur of nearly five hundred years of Indian history,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while inaugurating the ceremony to mark the completion of the restoration of Humayun Tomb.
Built in 1570 by the Islamic Mughal dynasty, the Unesco World heritage site had started losing its sheen with its garden worn out, its masonry cracked, the stonework broken. It was in November 2004, at the occasion of the presentation of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, that the PM expressed the hope that a public private partnership could be created to maintain and restore historic monuments.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture came forward and with co-funding of Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried the restoration work of Mughal architecture that predates the Taj Mahal.
In addition to the emphasis on matching the standards of Mughal-era craftsmanship, the project took a craft-based approach to conservation that offers a model for reviving the disappearing skills along with creating employment for the local community. “The resident communities of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti now benefit from improved urban infrastructure in health, education and sanitation as a by-product of this initiative. To my mind, this is the only sustainable way for us to accomplish the Herculean task of preserving our vast cultural heritage,” underlined the Prime Minister. Stressing on the need of “public-private partnership”, the PM added, “The key to the success of this conservation initiative at Humayun’s Tomb has been partnership between like-minded public and private agencies. All these takeaways mean that this effort could very well be a model for sustainable urban development of our historic city centres.”

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