French delegation to undertake restoration in Punjab: Parkash Singh Badal
New Delhi, Jan 22 : A high level cultural team from France led by the former French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu De Vaber called on the Punjab Minister Parkash Singh Badal and evinced keen interest in restoration work of ancient monuments and cultural heritage sites in the state.Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal offered the visiting team to take up the restoration work of the prestigious Jagatjit palace at Kapurthala, which was living and classic example of the French architectural grandeur.
He asked the entire team to visit Kapurthala to have on the spot assessment at the site along with top officials of the state tourism and cultural affairs department and Punjab heritage and tourism promotion board before taking up the restoration of this historic cultural site.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said, "Ancient monuments are the story tellers telling sagas of the bygone era. It is of utmost importance to preserve them to be passed on to the next generations. They are also the reservoirs of knowledge for the historians."
"Jagatjit palace and the Murish mosque needed restoration from world class architects and therefore the state wants to entrust this gigantic task to them as they had vast experience and expertise in the field of French architecture.
Moreover, it will be a humble effort on the part of state government to preserve the age old art, architectural and cultural legacy of the Kapurthala state, which was once a finest and legendary example of ancient French architecture." he added.
Badal further sought their cooperation in the field of health and education and invited them to set up finest institutions of learning and healthcare in the upcoming educity and medicity in new Chandigarh.
Highly buoyed over the Chief Minister's concern for preservation of state's cultural heritage, Vaber assured him that he would personally monitor the entire restoration project of Jagatjit palace after undertaking preliminary visit to the site.
He also agreed to the proposal of Badal to open an exquisite showroom of furniture in SAS nagar or Ludhiana displaying the best modern as well as antique French furniture.
Punjab Government has taken upon itself the work of restoration of the historical monuments of Punjab. An amount of Rs. 69 crore has been allocated to preserve the monuments, mute testimonials of Punjab's glorious heritage. Preservation of Darshani Deori (opening step), at Darbar Sahib with its original and extensive ivory work has been accomplished.
Preservation of architectural marvel of Bunga Ramgarhia (situated between Sri Guru Ram Das langar hall building and Sri Harmandir Sahib parikarma) as a heritage building has been underway with the support of Heritage Management Services, Noida.
The Punjab government in consultation with the Sikh historians has also finalized to strengthen the route of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji's journey from Anandpur Sahib to Sri Talwandi Sabo. The renovation of this heritage marg, with an expense of Rs. 30 crore, has been underway.
Parkash Singh Badal is an ardent lover of preserving cultural legacy and glorious heritage of the state. Punjab Government has created some exceptional monuments, which would go down a long in the annals of Indian cultural history. Virasat-e-Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib, the upcoming Jang-e-Azadi Memorial at Kartarpur near Jalandhar and war heroe's memorial cum museum at Amritsar are a few to name.