Want to learn how to restore an old black and white photograph of your grandmother, your grandfather's watch, antique furniture, a lucky cup or an old painting? Experts from the government museum here will show you how.
Last week, they were even coming home to do so, in an initiative of the Outreach Activity Centre of the Government Museum and Art Gallery. The centre's week-long mobile conservation workshop ended Wednesday.
During the workshop, art restoration experts travelled to schools and colleges, prominent tourist destinations and residential neighbourhoods of this city to create awareness about the techniques of conservation and restoration.
"This is the first time such a workshop is being conducted in northern India," Navjot Randhawa, director of the museum and art gallery, told IANS. "Our main aim behind this mobile workshop is to create awareness among masses about the heritage wealth that they have right in their own houses.
"In India, we have a tendency to throw things out once they are outdated, but in western countries, this conservation process is quite common. People in those countries are ready to spend huge amounts to preserve their old accessories."
Well-known conservator Namita Jaspal, who was coordinating the workshop, said: "Everything of the past has some special history related to it and it is the duty of the current generation to safeguard this, so that even the future generations can enjoy its beauty."
Explaining the concept and scope of restoration, she said: "It is the process to preserve the ancient items for years to come. There is a wide scope in this area of study and many universities are also offering specialised courses in conservation."
Jaspal said that the restoration process could be applied to sculptures, buildings, monuments, silver articles, antiques, wood and ancient artwork. It helped to preserve valuables and extend their life and beauty, she pointed out.
"One can bring anything (to the museum) from his family heirloom, like pictures, albums, old inherited furniture, jewellery, coins, textiles, hand-written letters, documents. We have solutions for everything."
Many residents and young artists took keen interest in the workshop.
"The tips that they are giving to prolong the life span of our creations are really useful. Normally we use adhesives or tapes to preserve our work but here we came to know that they are the biggest adversaries of the art work," Sidhartha Chatterjee, a painter and a student of fine arts here, told IANS.
K.D. Sharma, a retired army official, said: "I invited the mobile van of conservators to my home as I have an assortment of over 100-year-old antique pieces rusting in my store room. It is really praiseworthy that they are providing these services free."