The Ahhichattragarh Fort and Palace Complex at Nagaur in Rajasthan is famous for its stunning complex of palaces and gardens. Under the direction of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II, since the 1990s it has been the subject of major conservation initiatives, including award-winning conservation of the site. In 2005, conservation of the exquisite schemes of wall painting was begun by The Courtauld Institute, and continues with the support of the Leon Levy Foundation.
All three partners aim to develop Nagaur as a centre of conservation excellence. Thus, in 2013 the Leon Levy Foundation provided generous funding to establish a well-equipped Centre for Conservation Studies that includes facilities for both teaching and conservation. In addition to laboratories for materials analysis, microscopy, and digital imaging, there is a conference and teaching hall.
An initial programme of conservation studies was offered in 2014. Generously supported by the Leon Levy Foundation, specialist courses provided knowledge and skills essential to conservation decision-making and practice. Courses were taught by experts and included both theory and hands-on practice appropriate for conservation on site, and of objects and collections. Additional support has been provided by the Aldama Foundation through their generous provision of specialist training equipment
The initial programme in 2014 was extremely successful. Participants commented:
- ‘I have never before felt so enthusiastic about anything in my life.’
- ‘My experience at Nagaur has been life changing… the emphasis of thinking of conservation critically and the issues and ethics involved in conservation is also a very important lesson. I hope this program continues in the future as I think a lot of people will benefit from it … what the Leon Levy Foundation is doing is unique. ‘
- ‘Money can buy material but it cannot buy the knowledge which people have attained in their life. This workshop is a clear example for this.’
- ‘We all are very thankful… for conducting such a wonderful program which is, as far as I know, the first of its kind in India. ‘
As result of this the Leon Levy Foundation provided funding for conservation teaching for a further 5 years. In 2015, we will offer 6 courses over a 6 week period [16 February – 26 March]. Teaching and examination is in English. Each course is examined and participants receive a certificate for courses successfully completed.
The specialist conservation courses are designed to cover various essential investigative, recording, and assessment measures, while an additional course covers the recording and saving of accurate colour digital images.
Participants are drawn from South Asia, and may include both experienced conservators and those at entry-level. There is no course fee, and the Mehrangarh Museum Trust is generously providing accommodation and meals in Nagaur Fort, as well as transport to and from Jodhpur.
An application form can be found here. Some financial support is available for travel costs from your home city to and from Jodhpur and your request should be included on the application as #5.
Application Deadline: Saturday 20 December 2014
Programme Dates: Monday 16 February — Friday 27 March 2015; with arrival from Jodhpur Sunday 15 February and departure to Jodhpur Saturday 28 March
Language: Teaching and examination is in English
Location: Nagaur Fort, Rajasthan, RJ 341001, India