Where the need for preserving and restoring architectural heritage is paramount in Pakistan, restoration that is careless of history can often detract from the original features of the edifice.
Incautious restoration has time and again resulted in the loss of essence and character of historical sites, as observed in the case of Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s Mausoleum or the temple at Jehangir Kothari Parade. The most recent victim to insensitive restoration is a three-century-old heritage site located some 13 kilometres from Dadu district.1
In his book titled Sindh Tiles, British writer and archaeologist Henry Cousins had once expressed his appreciation for the mosque’s architecture, calling its tile-work a world class masterpiece. “Unfortunately, the glorious tiles which once caught the eyes of the British archaeologist have fallen prey to local contractors, who have either destroyed them in the pursuit of restoration or replaced them with local tiles,” Dr Daudpoto said.
- 1. Built by Yar Mohammad Kalhoro in 1718, the Khudabad Mosque has been in the process of restoration for over two decades. However, according to heritage experts, sub-standard restoration by unskilled labour and non-technical experts has resulted in the loss of heritage and has left the mosque a mere remnant of its former glory. “There was once a magnificent fort built around the mosque, which has been destroyed by inexperienced contractors who have pulled its mud to conserve the mosque,” said academic and expert Professor Dr Fatah Daudpoto.