LAHORE – The Lahore Museum is all set to conserve celebrated painter Sadequain’s priceless mural ‘Evolution of Mankind’, officials told TheNation on Monday.

The officials informed meetings were underway in this regard and the lab equipment and restoration material were being purchased to establish a workstation wherein the mural would be treated.

“Uzma Usmani, Lahore Museum’s restoration and exhibition officer, has prepared the design and work plan of the workstation, which has also been approved by the technical committee, for conserving and restoring Sadequain’s masterpiece,”

Uzma Usmani and Mumtaz Hussain, an artist who has worked with Sadequain, have been entrusted the responsibility to restore the mural. The two recently returned from India after participating in a three-month training on restoration of oil paintings organised by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), New Delhi.

Usmani told this scribe that during the three-month training, they were taught the anatomy, documentation, restoration and conservation of paintings, as well as the ethics of conservation.

“We would remain in contact with Intach for further guidance and experts from India might also visit the Lahore Museum to help us with the conservation and restoration of Sadequain’s masterpiece,” Usmani stated. She also said it would take about five years if only two people worked on the assignment.

The Punjab government has allocated Rs15 million for conserving and restoring the priceless mural and some of these funds have already been utilised, though Usmani had no idea on what.

The mural ‘Evolution of Mankind’ consists of 48 canvas panels – each measuring 6×8 feet – painted by Sadequain in 1972 and 1973. It was fixed at a height of 37 feet on the ceiling of Lahore Museum’s Miniature Painting Gallery in 1973. The mural was dismantled in 2010 after it was slightly damaged. Since then, has been lying in a gallery of the Lahore Museum.