By Ali Raza – Wednesday, November 04, 2015
LAHORE: Visitors to Lahore Fort will soon witness a change at the fort’s entrance as the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) is going for rehabilitation and conservation of the majestic picture wall.
The Picture Wall, one of the unique features of the Lahore Fort, is about 1,450 feet long with an average height of 50 feet. It forms Northern and part of Western façade of the Lahore Fort. Embellished with scenic pictures in glazed tiles work this massive façade was one of the key characteristics of the fort for inclusion of the Lahore Fort on ‘World Heritage Site’. It is the largest picture wall of the world claimed by the historians and architects.
Unfortunately, the wall is one of the most neglected parts of the fort, experts said, adding that the Picture Wall had become the backyard and site for storage of surplus materials and disposal of refuse. As a result, surface decoration is deteriorating at an alarming pace and there is real risk of complete destruction of pictures unless documented, analysed and addressed factors of deterioration.
Recently, the WCLA signed an MoU with Aga Khan Trust for culture for the documentation, presentation and promotion of the picture wall of the Lahore Fort. Officials said the project would be co-funded by Royal Norwegian Embassy, which has provided a fund of Rs10,963,000 for documentation, presentation and promotion of Picture Wall, Lahore Fort. A senior official of WCLA said the project would be started soon and completed by 30th of June 2016.
Salman Beg (CEO Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan) said that after the successful completion of Shahi Hammam, now the Norwegian Embassy has extended its support for the documentation of the picture wall. “I think this is a good beginning and we hope to preserve other parts of the Lahore Fort as well. Our team has started working on the documentation which is a lengthy process and will be completed by 2016” he maintained.
Masood A. Khan, Consultant Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan said that the activities to be carried out on the picture wall’s documentation would include conducting a survey and documentation of western section (350ft x 50ft), using EDM and photo rectification techniques, Façade documentation of western part of the Picture Wall which is rich in detailing and carrying out field investigations to study damage pattern.
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