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PM inaugurates restored Humayun's Tomb

Published: 18th September 2013 09:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2013 09:00 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

 Favouring innovative ways to preserve India's rich heritage, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday praised the public-private partnership model which has restored the 16th century Humayun's Tomb here.

"India has one of the richest repositories of heritage anywhere in the world and it is critical that we find practical and innovative ways to preserve and maintain this heritage," he said while inaugurating the refurbished monument.

Manmohan Singh said there was a need for India to evolve a more holistic understanding of conservation that combines preservation efforts with the social and economic needs of communities that surround these historic monuments.

He said: "Going by what I have seen and heard today, I think we have found a good model in the public-private partnership that has restored this great monument to its earlier glory.

"The increase in visitor numbers to this world heritage site will also translate into greater income through tourism," he said.

Manmohan Singh said that communities of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti now benefit from improved urban infrastructure in health, education, water and sanitation as a by-product of this initiative.

The Humayun's tomb complex, one of the biggest tourist draws in the Indian capital, is a world heritage site and has been restored to its old glory after six years of work.

It was built in 1565, nine years after the death of Mughal emperor Humayun, close to the Yamuna river which then used to flow through that area.

The tomb's restoration project is the largest and most ambitious heritage conservation project undertaken in India -- and the only one by a non-government body, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

The Archaeological Survey of India, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, World Monuments Fund, Ford Foundation and other organisations are partners in the project.

The prime minister said: "The Humayun's tomb project, I believe, has provided 200,000 man-days of employment for master craftsmen.

"I would like to congratulate the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, the ASI and the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust on the success of this endeavour."

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