Restoration work begins in Golden Temple

Amritsar, Punjab: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has begun the restoration work on the interiors of the sanctum sanctorum at Golden Temple with the help of experts from a Delhi-based firm. This is the first time that restoration work is being conducted inside the shrine.

The team of experts has started the restoration work from the first floor of Sri Harmandar Sahib and they have initially taken up the work to refurbish the art work. In the second phase of the project, they will carry out the restoration of the gold-related work.

The team is using some chemicals to clean up the affected artwork around the roof of the first floor. Sources said they would first do the cleaning work and subsequently apply new colours, wherever required.

Talking to The Tribune, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said they had ensured that the restoration work was done under the guidance of experts as it involved precious art work and gold work inside the sanctum sanctorum.

SGPC senior vice-president Raghujeet Singh Virk, who is looking after the project, said the experts were first experimenting with a part of the affected area and the full-scale project would take off when the experiment bears positive results.

He said the number of workers involved would increase next week when the work gains momentum. He said there would be no tampering with the ancient art work and efforts would be made to preserve its originality. He said the new art work would be done only at those places where the ancient art work had totally disappeared. He said they had imported colours and other material from foreign countries to achieve a perfect finish.

The gold plating and the art work inside Golden Temple dates back to Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s era. The interiors of the Golden Temple boast of rare architecture comprising “mohrakashi”, “tukri” and “gach” work. The gold plating inside the shrine has turned black apparently due to rising pollution while at a few places it has lost grip with the walls. Similarly, the artwork on the upper floor has also suffered damage at various spots, particularly along the staircases leading to the top floor.

Earlier, the SGPC had put up glasses on the artwork at the upper floor, as a result of which seepage has taken a toll on it.

The gold plates on the outer walls of the shrine were first replaced in 1999 after a gap of 170 years.

Highlights of project:

* In the first phase of the project, the team of experts will refurbish the art work. Subsequently, restoration of the gold work will be carried out

* SGPC senior vice-president Raghujeet Singh Virk said there would be no tampering with the ancient art work and efforts would be made to preserve its originality

* Imported colours and other repair material will be used to achieve a perfect finish

Source: The Tribune

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