Only three trained conservationists in Punjab

Yasmeen Cheema, Honorary Chairperson of Conservation and Rehabilitation Centre, Lahore, who is a part of the Pakistani contingent, said a large number of Sikh relics were preserved with the Fakirkhana family and they have donated 500 Sikh miniatures to the Lahore Museum. Dr Robert J Koestler, Director, Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian Institute, said advanced systems of preservation, which involves using argon and nitrogen gases have proved to be very effective. ‘‘We also use germical lamps for reduction of airborne microbes,” he added. Mohan Singh, former curator, Punjab, listed a large number of Sikh artifacts and relics spread all across the state. ‘‘The state of affairs is abysmal and clothes worn by Sikh gurus are kept in folded position in polythene packs,” he said. Smoke from incense has blackened a chola at Dera Baba Nanak, which had verses of holy Quran inscribed on it. ‘‘Today, the verses cannot be read,” he added. Prof Hanna Szczepanowska of George Washington University revealed how they had conserved Sikh relics and artifacts for the Smithsonian exhibition.


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