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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Films preach 'save heritage' message

TNN | Nov 20, 2012, 03.09 AM IST

.KOLKATA: As you glance through the slides, you will be gripped with a sense of remorse on seeing that priceless heritage structures the city once had were pulled down one after the other to make way for concrete structures.

As you glossed over the slides you were suddenly gripped with a sense of remorse. Priceless heritage structures that we once had were pulled down one after the other to make way for concrete structures.

The slides were shown by Intach, an NGO that works for heritage conservation, as part of a world heritage week programme organised at the Victoria Memorial. Two films on heritage preservation were also screened.

Be it the Bank of Bengal building, the senate building of Calcutta University that gave way to the centenary building, or the original building of Bengal Club - all are lost forever.

"What we need is awareness and activism on the part of the citizens of the city. Otherwise, it would be difficult to preserve our built heritage," said G M Kapur, state convenor of Intach.

The first film was based on the high-profile restoration of The Last Supper by Zoffany, a mammoth painting that the artist gifted to St John's Church. This one of its kind art restoration was done under the guidance of Renate Kant, a restorer from Singapore and had brought a lot of media attention in 2010.

On the other hand, the second film focused on Stefan Norblin, a Polish painter who sought refuge in India during World War II. Norblin's paintings adorned walls of palaces in Morbi, Jodhpur and Mumbai. These were mammoth in size and brought with them a new style to India where you saw Indian characters having prominent European features.

The film called Chitranjali celebrated the art deco style of architecture that was a common feature during the time of Norblin both in palatial India as well as in Poland.

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