The Deccan Heritage Foundation is planning to set up a restoration centre in Hyderabad to conserve the cultural and architectural heritage of the region. The DHF co-founder Helen Philon told TOI on Wednesday that the restoration centre would work in different areas of heritage. “The centre will not restrict itself to saving the architecture alone. There are other historical materials which too have to be saved for posterity. For instance, the proposed centre will have units to preserve paper, timber, metal or any other medium that could be saved,” she said. Philon, who edited the famous Silent Splendour: Palaces of the Deccan and authored a pictorial guidebook Gulbarga-Bidar-Bijapur, said the foundation would like to publish books highlighting the significance of saving environment and heritage targeting teenagers. “Our children will be the saviors of tomorrow. They need to be properly educated and made aware of how essential it is to save the environment and the heritage. The books would start coming out in about 12 months,” she said.
Deccan Heritage Foundation (DHF) was established about one and half years ago in the UK and India to promote awareness on the cultural heritage of the region. A book, Discovering the Deccan, published in association with the DHF will be launched in Hyderabad on Thursday. The book is a panoramic journey through historic landscapes and monuments of the region. It has photographs by Surendra Kumar and text by George Michell & Helen Philon. “Many of the sites showcased in the book remain little known. They are threatened with neglect, misguided urban development and insensitive archaeological restoration. Through this book we intend to draw attention to the problems faced in preserving this unique heritage,” Philon said. Deccan is one region in India where the synthesis of various cultures and religions is still preserved. From the ancient Hindu, Buddhists to medieval Jewish, Christian and Islamic, one can find traits of all cultures. The Deccan is more open and all encompassing. Unfortunately, it is one of the most under-studied region too, she said.
Philon expressing happiness over the recently signed MoU between Aga Khan Foundation and the department of archeology and museums to conserve the Qutub Shahi tombs offered the foundation help. “We have the knowledge, they have the technical expertise. We can work together,” she said.