Not every building should be a museum: Hyderabad Lit Fest panel

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Hyderabad: Every building cannot be a museum and old or heritage structures can be used for new purposes, said award winning architect Anuradha Naik. She pointed out that demolishing old structures and constructing something new takes a lot of energy (hinting that it could be perhaps be avoided with regard to heritage structures).

“Not every old building should be a museum. My question is what are we going to put in it? The oldest hospital is London is 1000 yes old. So why can’t we use old structures for new uses? Our tendency to say all old buildings should be got culture is wrong,” said Naik, while speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Reviving Heritage’ at the Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) here on Sunday.

The Residency Building at Koti. (Photo: Siasat)

Naik, who has worked on various projects including the Domakonda fort in Telangana (which recently won a UNESCO award for its restoration work), said “In most Scandinavian countries you have to reuse buildings. Osmania hospital has everything (with regard to the recent controversy about the structure, when there were calls to demolish it. The Telangana government eventually decided against it).”

Architect B. Sarath Chandra from Heritage Matters, whose team worked on the restoration of the historic British Residency building (which was inaugurated earlier this month), also said said they are now trying to “institutionalise” the maintenance of such buildings. “How does one run a museum? Can a College history department also be involved? How long will donors continue funding?,” he asked.

Chandra also said the next edition of the HLF can also be held at the British Residency itself, given its grandeur. The panel was moderated by Hyderabad based journalist Serish Nanisetti. The British Residency (1798-1804) ʼ was built after the Nizams of Hyderabad and the British East India Company signed the Treaty of Subsidiary Alliance in 1798.

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( With inputs from )

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