The Spirit of the Architecture versus Material Authenticity
The Conservation of Humayun´s Tomb in Delhi, India
A Film by Niels Gutschow
D 2010, 38 minutes
Four years after the death of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1556, two architects of Persian descent were appointed to design his tomb which was completed in 1570.
The graves of five more Mughal emperors and over a hundred Mughal families are likewise located on the site.
Humayun´s Tomb rises from a plinth some 120 metres square marking the centre of a Quranic paradise garden which is divided into four quadrants.
Since 1903 the garden had been recovered, transformed, and finally restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in 2003. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and since 2007 the tomb has been subsequently restored. The implementation phase created a fruitful dialogue between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), with its emphasis on the material authenticity, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, an advocate of a conservation practice that supports the spirit of the architecture.