Experts to study Golden Temple environs

GTTo check rising humidity levels, that might affect Golden Temple’s sanctum sanctorum, experts from across the world will exchange views as part of an initiative taken by the state government.

In an interview with The Tribune, Professor of urban planning Paolo Ceccarelli, from Centro Ricerche Urbane Territoriali E Ambientali, Italy, said it was crucial to properly plan restoration work in a way that environment, particularly humidity, did not damage the historic buildings on the temple complex.

After an extensive survey of the complex this morning, Professor Ceccarelli said: “Application of cement on structures that originally had no traces of it and were built with mud and jaggery, causes more harm than good.”

“Each building breathes like a human body and the restoration, conservation and maintenance work should ensure that it is not chocked. The cement plaster does not gel with the basic character of the historic buildings,” he said.

Professor Ceccarelli said the state government had given him the go-ahead to constitute a panel of experts from across the world to carry out restoration work on the complex to make sure “the sense of sanctity is not diluted” and humidity due to the presence of the sarovar did not create problems.

“There are bathroom tiles plastered on the tombs and the marble in the parikarma is slippery at several places and could be replaced with a better material which gives a more historic look,” he said.

He added that he was surprised to find trees with rubber tubes tied to them and their branches hung up in different directions. “This is no less than mummification of the trees. These little things aggravate the problem and need to be immediately addressed.”

The tall water tower and hotel buildings in close vicinity of the religious place also affect the environment of the place and their impact would also be studied by the panel.

Professor Ceccarelli was accompanied by his wife, Prof Laura Balbo, former member of Parliament, Italy, Gurjot Singh, a young architect who assists Professor Ceccarelli.

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