LAHORE - The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), in partnership with Aga Khan Trust for culture (AKCSP), has started the conservation of some parts of the Picture Wall.

The objective of the Picture Wall Prototype (PWP) Project is to work out a strategy for conservation of the Lahore Fort Picture Wall by restoring a selected area.

This could provide an enabling platform to discuss the special conditions and requirements of the conservation of the entire PW in an international workshop to be held in June 2017 to review the prototypical interventions made lately, with the aim of defining a satisfactory course for the completion of the conservation work.

Foreign experts on conservation have also been involved and taken on board for this project, which was initiated in November 2016. Earlier in September 2015, AKCSP began the documentation of the Picture Wall with financial support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and facilitated by WCLA.

The first phase of the project involves the complete documentation of the 350’x50’ western section of the Picture Wall. Thus far, the architectural documentation of the facade using Electronic Distance Measurement devices has been completed and high resolution rectified photography is in progress. The site has also been recorded as part of a demonstration for 3D laser scanning, which will be used extensively in future phases of documentation.

Established as the world’s largest mural, the 1450’x50’ Picture Wall was exquisitely decorated with glazed tile and faience mosaics, embellished brickwork, filigree work and frescos during the Mughal period in the reign of Jahangir in 1624 AD and completed under Shah Jahan’s reign in 1632 AD.

Each individual mosaic gives us an insight into the life and entertainment in the royal courts, such as battles scenes, royal portraits, mythical creatures, dance and music and geometric patterns; these unique elements became the principal reason for the Lahore Fort being declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1981.

WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari said: “This will be another unique project by the Walled City of Lahore Authority. I am grateful to Aga Khan Trust for Culture for this partnership and taking keen interest in the heritage of Walled City Lahore.”

“This Picture Wall is the world’s largest mural and tile mosaic wall which was built in the Mughal Era. This is the real beauty of Lahore Fort and unfortunately it was neglected. I am hopeful that with this conservation project we will be able to save the fading away colors of the wall,” Lashari told The Nation.

Rashid Makhdum, Consultant/Senior Architect Aga Khan Trust for Culture, was of the view that this prototype project will enable them to check out the results of the conservation.