Lahore, Pakistan, 15 December 2021 – Dr Arif Alvi, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, visited the 17th century Mughal-era Lahore Fort, one of the largest restoration projects in Pakistan that has been carried out by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in partnership with the Government of Punjab and the Walled City of Lahore Authority. While touring the Royal Kitchens and the Picture Wall – one of the largest murals in the world that adorns the Fort and the principal reason for the site’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981 – the President admired the detailed conservation efforts in preserving an important part of Muslim history.
Together with the Shah Burj Gate the Picture Wall forms the original private entrance to the Fort. The 400+ metre Wall is exquisitely decorated with imagery of hunting, battle scenes, angels and demons, human figures, animals, birds, as well as geometric and floral patterns. It is embellished in cut glazed tile mosaic work, filigree work, fresco, painted lime plaster and cut brickwork.
Since 2007, the Trust’s Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme has worked on the rehabilitation of the Walled City of Lahore and the conservation of its monuments. This includes the restoration of the Wazir Khan Mosque and the Shahi Hamman. Rehabilitation works are ongoing, and a number of projects are co-funded by Norway, Germany and the USA.
As with many of its urban regeneration projects in historic centres, the Trust has undertaken its conservation efforts in an integrated manner to improve lives in surrounding neighbourhoods. In the areas of the Walled City where the programme has concentrated its rehabilitation efforts, local residents are benefiting from improved housing conditions and utility infrastructures, historic monuments are more accessible to tourists, and streets are safer.
The projects of the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme in various parts of the world including Afghanistan, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan and Tanzania amongst others have demonstrated that they can have a positive impact well beyond conservation, promoting good governance, the growth of civil society, a rise in incomes and economic opportunities, greater respect for human rights and better stewardship of the environment, even in the poorest and most remote areas of the globe.
For more information, please contact:
Khawaja Tausif Ahmad
Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan
Tel: +92 42 36286371-3
Aga Khan Council for Pakistan
Tel: +92 21 3586 1242