India

The Indian subcontinent is the home of some of the world's oldest and most influential civilizations with a rich cultural heritage distinguished by its antiquity and its great variety.17 The establishment of the Mughal Empire in the north of India, 1526-1761, had great national and international importance. The third emperor, Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1605), placed all religions at an equal level, and generated a social and political revolution that enabled the country to achieve unprecedented unity and progress. There was a long tradition of town planning guidelines in ancient scriptures, and special skills existed for different tasks from planning to execution (Venkataramana, 1956). Many of these rules and norms were, however, defeated with the invasion of Huns, the introduction of Islam, and the arrival of Europeans. The British supremacy over India was declared in 1818. After the Second World War the subcontinent was divided in two independent countries, India and Pakistan.

The architectural heritage of India has greatly suffered as a result of many battles and wars. However, there still remained ancient temples, shrines and cities, such as the Sun Temple of Konarak, the caves of Ajanta and Elephanta, Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal. Some of these sites were visited by Europeans, who admired the achievements in Mughal architecture. The English landscape painter William Hodges (1744-97) described Taj Mahal in 1789: 'The whole appears like a most perfect pearl on an azure ground. The effect is such, I confess, I never experienced any work of art.'18 In certain cases, the temples could have new uses; such was the case at the Elephanta caves, where Lord Valentia observed in 1804 that the figures in a temple were perfectly preserved due to the fact that the Portuguese had transformed it into a church and painted it red. The former audience hall of a Rajah in his Palace at Madura had deteriorated to the degree that it was little more than a shelter for cattle at the end of the eighteenth century, even though it was later repaired and used as government offices and law courts by the British. With the growing interest in ancient monuments in Europe, and especially the development of the picturesque movement in England, artists started travelling to India in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. The most impact was made by Thomas Daniell (1749-1840) and his nephew William (1769-1837), travelling from 1786 to 1794. On their return in England, they published several series of views of landscapes, historic sites and architecture, including a series of twelve views on Indian antiquities dedicated to the Society of Antiquaries.

One of the first statements in favour of the study of Indian antiquities was by Dr Samuel Johnson who in 1774 encouraged the Governor General of Fort William to have the traditions and histories of the East examined and surveyed. This wish found concrete response in the founding of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1784 by Sir William Jones (1746-1794), British lawyer and Orientalist, who was judge to the Supreme Court in Bengal in 1783. The aim of the society was to encourage studies in the history, the antiquities, arts, sciences and literature of Asia, and it published a journal, Asiatic Researches, marking the beginning of a systematic research. The society also started a conservation movement that led to growing awareness of Indian culture, discovery and publication of ancient monuments, and study of Indian architecture (Rau, 1981; Thakur, 1986).

The collections of the maharajas and temples were not made in the modern sense, but were objects dedicated to divinities. The Society of Bengal was the first to initiate collection of antiquities on the sites of ancient monuments, where architectural fragments, inscriptions and other antiquities could be kept in custody. In 1814, the Society donated its collection to the first museum of India founded in Calcutta as the Indian Museum, which had its own building in 1875. The next museum was founded in Madras, in 1851. Of special interest here were decorative sculptures from the Stupa of Amaravati and other Buddhist monuments, which had been reused in the construction of dams and roads, and were discovered and collected by the British. The Prince of Wales Museum of Western India was established in Bombay as a result of the visit by the Prince in 1905. Smaller museums were established in a number of other cities, and the archaeological sites themselves were gradually formed into open-air museums with their traditional Moghul gardens and landscapes.

An example of early interests in protection is the Sun Temple of Konarak; in 1806, the Marine Board requested measures to be taken against the removal of stones from the temple, known as the 'Black Pagoda', and to ascertain the cost for the preservation of the building. The initiative was justified mainly by the fact that the temple served as an essential landmark for ships on the shallow coast. Although the Governor General did not agree funding for preservation work, steps were taken to prevent moving the stones (Mitra, 1986:15). From 1838, the Asiatic Society of Bengal started promoting protection of the temple with scarce results, although some fragments were placed in a museum in Calcutta. In 1900, the temple area was excavated unearthing other buildings not previously known. Subsequently, restorations were carried out and in 1905 the porch interior was filled with soil to avoid collapse.19

In 1800, Samuel Buchanan undertook a topographical survey in Eastern India; and in 1810, the Bengal Government gave the first regulation for the protection of monuments, followed in 1817 by one in Madras. The first steps towards the protection and restoration of ancient monuments at the national level were taken after the British Crown had taken over the government of India. The Archaeological Survey of India was founded 1860 for the northern part of the subcontinent, and ten years later for the central parts. The first Director of the Archaeological Survey was Alexander Cunningham of the Royal Engineers, one of the scholars trained by the Asiatic Society. He initiated a fruitful period of research and documentation, travelling around the country and producing 23 volumes as Archaeological Survey of India Reports on ancient monuments. The conservation of monuments was, however, left to the responsibility of local administrations, who were scarcely prepared for this task; in 1884, the care of monuments was assigned to provincial governments. Major H. H. Cole, who had already worked in Lahore, Delhi and Agra, was appointed Inspector of Ancient Monuments for three years, and produced a series of preliminary reports on all the important monuments. In 1873, the Royal Asiatic Society recommended proper classification of monuments and the use of trained officers for their conservation.

When the 1st Marquis Curzon of Kedleston (1859-1925) was Viceroy he was responsible for the start of a new era in the protection of ancient monuments in India. A graduate of Oxford University, he was appointed undersecretary of state for India in 1891, and Viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905. Curzon took a keen personal interest in the ancient sites, visiting them frequently, and giving instructions about repair and conservation. He admired the Taj Mahal, and made a special contribution towards its restoration. A number of artisans were trained to cut marble and to repair the damages that had been caused by visitors who had taken fragments from the monument as souvenirs. The cracks caused by earthquakes were consolidated, and marble surfaces were polished. The ancient garden layout was excavated, and flowers and trees were replanted also to improve the access. Curzon was proud of his work on the Taj Mahal, and wrote later: 'If I had never done anything else in India, I have written my name here, and the letters are a living joy' (Carrol, 1972:134).

Figure 9-32 The mausoleum of Taj Mahal and the surrounding garden were restored during Lord Curzon's government in the early twentieth century

In 1902, he decided to reorganize the Archaeological Survey, and Dr John Marshall was nominated the Director General, initiating an active period in excavation and exploration, in the conservation of monuments, and the various fields of research. Conservation of ancient monuments became one of the principal responsibilities of the Archaeological Survey, and two conservation departments with appropriate personnel were created, Frontier Circle and the Northern Circle. The works were reported regularly in Annual Reports.2 In 1904, the government passed the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, the first act for India.21 Major reforms were made in 1919 and 1935 which reinforced the status and the protection of ancient monuments. Sir John Marshall created a sound and uniform basis for the legislative framework.

Curzon continued his interest in the Indian heritage even after he had returned to England, and was in correspondence with Thackeray Turner, Secretary of SPAB, to discuss appropriate restoration principles. At the end, the SPAB accepted that 'Indian buildings were on a different footing from European mediaeval buildings, because whereas in Europe all mediaeval traditions have died out, in India the building traditions are, to some extent, still alive' (Turner to Marshall in 1910, in Linstrum, 1995:7). SPAB continued to have considerable influence on the aims of conservation action as reflected in the Conservation Manual (1923) published by Sir John Marshall

Figure 9-33 Detail of Taj Mahal showing the delicate hand work in marble

to assist the officers of the Archaeological Survey in their daily work. Concerning the principles of conservation, Marshall wrote:

Although there are many ancient buildings whose state of disrepair suggests at first sight a renewal, it should never be forgotten that their historical value is gone when their authenticity is destroyed, and that our first duty is not to renew them but to preserve them. When, therefore, repairs are carried out, no effort should be spared to save as many parts of the original as possible, since it is to the authenticity of the old parts that practically all the interest attaching to the new will owe itself. Broken or half decayed original work is of infinitely more value than the

Figure 9.34 Fatahpur Sikri, India, is a magnificent site which remained abandoned shortly after construction in the sixteenth century; it is currently on the World Heritage List smartest and most perfect new work. (Marshall, 1923:9f)

Figure 9.34 Fatahpur Sikri, India, is a magnificent site which remained abandoned shortly after construction in the sixteenth century; it is currently on the World Heritage List

Figure 9.35 Problems of planning control and protection in the historic city of Hyderabad, in 1979

smartest and most perfect new work. (Marshall, 1923:9f)

Much attention was given to maintaining ancient monuments as 'undisturbed' as possible; modern elements were to be hidden rather than differentiated. In cave temples, new masonry should be made with as 'inconspicuous' joints as possible, new work could also be artificially stained if this was in the character of the site. Fallen figures or images should not be re-erected unless there was certainty that the image had been there originally; human figures should never be repaired, and floral designs only exceptionally. Historic evidence should never be obscured. Historic gardens could be restored keeping their original character but without being too pedantic. In 'living monuments', i.e. historic buildings still used for original purpose, more restoration was acceptable than in the case of ruins. It was recommended, however, that any such work should be clearly stated by the responsible officer in the Annual Reports. Concerning religious buildings, the agreement to protect them under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act could be terminated subject to due notice given by the owner. Particular reservations were therefore made on spending money on their maintenance or repair, and the Manual recommends a clause to be inserted in the listing agreement, according to which any moneys spent by the government should be refunded by the owner if the protection ended (Marshall, 1923:10).

After the independence of India, in 1947, the Monuments Act was amended to correspond to the new constitutional requirements; the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Act of 1958 was similar to the law of 1904, but it gave greater powers to the Archaeological Survey of India. In Pakistan, similarly, an Ancient Monuments Preservation Amendments Ordinance was given in 1962, and new acts in 1968 and 1975. A list of protected monuments was maintained by each Archaeological Superintendent responsible for their maintenance and for yearly reports on their condition. Monuments had to be inspected at least yearly. Priority in using government funds was given to the preservation of as many monuments as possible; any repairs should be carried out only if really necessary and if special funds were available for this purpose. However, annual maintenance was to be carried out so as to avoid major interventions. The establishment and development of the National Conservation Laboratory in Lucknow under the direction of O.P. Agrawal from the 1970s was an important step towards greater autonomy in scientific research and capacity building. With the gradual industrialization and population growth in urban centres, historic cities came under growing pressure to expand both horizontally and vertically. After the Second World War, this became a major problem. In the 1980s, some Urban Planning Authorities such as Hyderabad, and the establishment of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), have provided a forum for discussing this problem, and have encouraged professional planners to penetrate the problem, study specific historic areas, and propose solutions, both for the general control of cities, and for the conservation of historic areas in particular.

9.1.7 Japan

Until the nineteenth century, Japanese buildings were almost entirely of wood. Due to the climate and other causes of decay, the buildings required regular care and repair in order to remain in use. Through experience, building technologies were adapted and developed in order to facilitate the necessary dismantling and replacement or repair of decayed elements. This included the development, since the twelfth century, of the techniques of kiku (a technique to design the eaves and to position the rafters) and kiwari (system of proportions), which are unique for Japan and can allow for an exact identification of the original design concept (Larsen, 1994:109). Buildings could thus be easily dismantled either partially or completely for purposes of repair; for example, the Hokki-ji three-storied pagoda, built in the late seventh or early eighth century, had partial repairs in the twelfth, fifteenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and complete dismantling in the thirteenth, seventeenth and twentieth centuries. As a result of such traditions, the buildings could be kept in use for long periods of time, although through the repair process there was a gradual loss of original material especially externally and in the upper parts. (In the case of this pagoda the loss was about 50 per cent.) Partly, such loss can also be due to changes made in different periods (Larsen, 1994:11f). Another question is the ritual reconstruction of Shinto shrines, a practice assumed to go back to the end of the seventh century. The last such reconstruction was accomplished with the Ise Jingu shrine, rebuilt at twenty-year intervals for the sixty-first time in 1993. Apart from an interruption during the period of civil wars in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, such reconstructions were common in prestigious monasteries. One interpretation is as a reflection of life cycle in agricultural society. Another is related to the origins of Shinto traditions, when no permanent temples existed and when temporary shrines were built for deities on special occasions.

After a relatively long isolation, Japan opened to foreigners in the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1868, there began a period of social and political changes that returned power to the imperial throne. This Meiji period of restoration had the slogan of return to antiquity, but it also marked the introduction of new issues including western architectural and town planning concepts;

Figure 9-36 Kasuga Shrine near Nara, Japan, was founded during the Nara period in the eighth century, but the present form of this Shinto shrine results from a reconstruction in 1863. (Kasuga Shrine management)

Figure 9.37 The roof of the Kasuga Shrine being rebuilt during recent restoration (c. 1994). (Kasuga Shrine management)

such issues were introduced selectively and according to their usefulness and suitability to Japanese society (Jinnai, 1995). Amongst other issues, there was a new approach to cultural heritage. The increased interest in industry and development led to the impoverishment of traditional Buddhist and Shinto institutions, the decay of temples and export of valuable objects (Larsen, 1994:31). In 1871, the government issued a decree for the protection of antiquities and the preparation of inventories, followed by funds for maintenance (1880). In 1897, the government passed the Ancient Shrines and Temples Preservation Act allowing listing of historic shrines and temples for protection, and state contributions for their

Figure 9-38 The Buddhist temple in Nara, Horyu-ji, where eventual restoration is based on the principle of replacement of decayed or rotten elements

care. The Minister of Home Affairs (later Education) was advised in the listing process by the Commission for the Preservation of Ancient Shrines and Temples, and the number of listed properties reached 1116 by 1929. The main criteria for listing were 'artistic superiority', and 'value as historical evidence and wealth of historical associations', but also age had an important role (Sekino, 1929:7f). In 1919, a law was passed for Historic Sites, Places of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monuments. In 1929, the Preservation of National Treasures Act replaced the 1897 act, extending the coverage to castles, mansions and private residences. After the Golden Hall of Horyu-ji temple in Nara was destroyed in fire in 1949,22 the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties (1950) with subsequent provisions further broadened the scope of legal protection, including intangible cultural properties (related to performing arts or applied arts), folk-cultural properties (tangible and intangible), tangible cultural properties (buildings, etc.), historic sites, places of scenic beauty and natural monuments. Preservation districts for groups of historic buildings were included in 1975.23

It is characteristic of Japanese conservation policy to have regard to both physical and intangible properties. Considering that the question is mainly about objects and structures in wood, the policy implies that their preservation is not conceivable without keeping up

Figure 9.39 Detail of a former repair of the Buddhist temple of Cyojuji. The date and signature of the repair have been inscribed inside the new element
Figure 9.40 The historic town of Imai-cho, near Nara, is an example of an urban group of buildings protected on the basis of Japanese law

the skills required for continuous maintenance and repair. Knut-Einar Larsen has noted that the European value concepts and preservation theories were adopted in Japan at the end of the nineteenth century, and that was a moment when concepts of stylistic restoration were still dominant; however, these ideas were 'not only imported and imitated, but the Japanese have gradually transformed them in such a way as to suit Japan's natural and cultural conditions' (Larsen, 1994:155). Furthermore, Larsen sees the present policy to consist of an amalgam of two phenomena: continuation of age-old traditions of craftsmanship and technical knowledge, and use of scientific research methods. One could add that the Japanese approach is characterized by a challenge for perfection. This is reflected in the conscious choice - within the limits of documented knowledge - to aim at the aesthetically most perfect form of a historic building. Such choice is made feasible by the need for dismantling as an essential part of the repair process. At the same time, the purpose is to safeguard the maximum amount of genuine historical material, and to use modern technology so far as necessary.

Japan forms a case, which in its uniqueness represents a serious search for a modern approach to safeguarding cultural heritage in a particular cultural context. One of the key issues in this search is the question of 'authenticity' as was demonstrated by the fact that

Japan acted as host to the international expert meeting on authenticity in the context of the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO in December 1994 (Inaba, 1995; Larsen, 1995). The Japanese approach to continuity of traditions was clearly emphasized in the final document, which stated: 'All cultures and societies are rooted in the particular forms and means of tangible and intangible expression which constitute their heritage, and these should be respected' (par. 7). This approach may well show new directions for safeguarding cultural heritage in the broadest sense. It may help to establish links with the traditional world while heading to a new and sustainable relationship with existing building traditions and the environment.

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