World Monuments Fund (WMF) has included Jahangir’s Mausoleum Complex as one of the 25 heritage sites on the World Monuments Watch (WMW) list 2022, it was told by Dr. Tahir Masood, Managing Director NESPAK here on Tuesday. The WMW selection comprises globally recognized heritage sites whose preservation is urgent and vital to the communities surrounding them. The site was proposed/nominated by NESPAK with Ms. Yasmin Cheema renowned Cultural Heritage Conservationist and with generous support from the Directorate General of Archaeology, Punjab.
Once on the World Monument Watch list, a proper Conservation Plan will be developed by NESPAK with a multidisciplinary team of experts including Ms. Yasmeen Cheema to conserve and restore the buildings in the complex to their authentic and original form and to rejuvenate the Chahar Bagh (paradise garden) with the involvement of the traditional artisans and the communities living in the surrounding areas.
WMF is the leading independent organization devoted to safeguarding the world’s most treasured places to enrich people’s lives and build mutual understanding across cultures and communities. The organization is headquartered in New York City with offices and affiliates around the world. The fund from WMF has been able to preserve more than 700 sites in 112 countries and the Watch which is announced every two years, has proven to be a tool for raising awareness of sites that are facing pressing global challenges of climate change, imbalanced tourism, underrepresentation, and recovery from crisis and are in need of protection and support for their preservation.
The 17th century Mausoleum Complex of Emperor Jahangir is the only Mughal Emperor funerary complex in Pakistan and has the outstanding universal value of being the only single-storey commemorative structure for a Mughal Emperor. The tomb is still intact, providing a glimpse of the splendors of Mughal architecture and intangible cultural heritage of the era. Jahangir’s tomb complex faces many challenges, including the effects of climate change. Therefore, it is a matter of urgency to save the site’s authenticity and integrity, to pass it to the future generations, for them to know their history and identity. The mausoleum complex can become a rich economic resource, with proper tourist infrastructure and involvement of the local community.