As a masterpiece from the time of the brilliant Mughal civilisation, which reached its height during the reign of the Emperor Shah Jahan, the Picture Wall is partly responsible for the Lahore Fort’s UNESCO World Heritage listing in 1981. However, the Picture Wall has suffered long periods of abandonment, improper use and neglect, and past conservation efforts have left behind a host of problems and issues.
Beginning in 2017, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s current conservation intervention on the Picture Wall started as a pioneering intervention. Due to the sensitivity of a World Heritage listed site and the level of deterioration of the structures and decoration, it became obvious that a set of criteria was necessary in order to maintain the site’s authenticity. The proposed conservation methodologies involved minimal intervention.
Current conservation work employs a series of artisans specialised in traditional construction methods and introduces modern conservation practice to Pakistani conservators through training and capacity building by international experts.