Looking Beyond Monuments and History
Conservation architects Gurmeet Rai and Ratish Nanda in conversation with Prem Chandavarkar
Conservation of built heritage is conventionally viewed through two lenses: a singular monument seen primarily in terms of its physical form, and as a representation of the past or a reminder of our history. But there are many other aspects of heritage that are just as significant. Heritage can cover entire precincts, not just singular monuments; has both tangible and intangible dimensions; and there is rarely a clear dividing line between past and present given many heritage structures are still in active use. Moreover, heritage cannot be restricted to the pre-modern – many works of architecture that are considered ‘modern’, are now six to seven decades old, are milestones of our history, and worthy of inclusion as heritage.
How should we be looking at heritage in this expanded sense? What impacts do we suffer in our current narrow view of heritage? What should be a sensible heritage policy that covers the subject in all of its significant dimensions?
The discussion will cover these questions and more, seeking to pinpoint the core issues in conserving India’s built heritage.