Golden Temple conservator explains method, techniques

  • Usmeet Kaur Usmeet Kaur, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Jun 18, 2015 00:06 IST

Winding up week-long celebrations of Amritsar’s foundation day a city-based NGO, Dilbir Foundation, gave a clarion call to people to save cultural heritage of the region.

The NGO organised a presentation session on ‘Conservation of Sacred Heritage’ by renowned conservator Namita Jaspal at Bhai Vir Singh’s ancient home. Since December 2013, Chandigarh-based conservator Namita Jaspal and her young team are involved in the conservation of the Golden Temple.

Namita shared with Hindustan Times the experience and technique, she was using at the Golden Temple. She calls it ‘reversible technique’. Namita and her team are confident about the technique they are employing.

Namita said, “We are working at the Golden Temple since December 2013 and the restoration work is still on. My team has worked on the upper most layer of the paintings — the artwork created by Atma Singh in 1960, popularly known as ‘Jodhpuri hunar’ (they are tempra and not fresco anymore). At first, the pre-consolidation work was carried out, and then cleaning process was done by dry and wet cleaning methods.”

“The material used for consolidation is attuned with the original material. This is also reversible so that it can be taken out wherever required without damaging the original paintings. All these processes and material are in accordance with the international code of ethics of conservation,” said Namita, who is also credited for conserving over 400-year-old Chola Sahib of Sri Guru Hargobind Singh.

“Restoring and conserving an art is not only an artwork, rather it is an amalgamation of science and art. My team includes expert conservators as well as artists. Above all, they haven’t changed the original work, rather they are preserving the 200-year-old art,” says Namita.

Terming it her most challenging assignment in 20 years of her career, Namita mesmerised the gathering with ‘before and after’ pictures of her restoration work at the sanctum sanctorum of the Harmandir Sahib.

Gunbir Singh, president of Dilbir Foundation, said, “Conservation is a painstaking work, requiring both ability and ethical approach to do just enough and no more. Namita brings to the table a refreshing etiquette to extend the lifecycle of tangibles in a proper sustainable manner.”

With an interesting presentation by Namita on Conservation of Sacred Heritage’ the weeklong celebration of Amritsar foundation day also concluded.

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