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In order to sensitize the custodians of precious collections of manuscripts, INTACH Kashmir, in collaboration with Department of Archives, Archaeology, and Museums J&K, and with the support of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) New Delhi, organised a 5-day workshop on ‘Preventive Conservation of Manuscripts’ at SPS Museum, Srinagar from 23rd – 27th October, 2018. The workshop aimed at imparting training through lectures and practical demonstration to equip the participants/ custodians of manuscripts with necessary expertise and knowledge about scientific preservation and preventive conservation. The participation for the workshop has been drawn from Research and Oriental Library, College libraries, Department of Archives, SPS Museum and private collectors from the City of Srinagar.

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Rafugar or 'darning' is a specialized technique which is traditionally used to mend holes or worn areas in fabrics, using needle and thread alone. The technique involves matching the colour and weave of the fabric so that the repaired patch merges with the rest of the fabric. Rafugar is a gradually declining craft that needs promotion and efforts for long term survival. Rafugari entails textiles, tapestry, shawls, and woolens. INTACH, Kashmir Chapter in collaboration with SPS Museum & Directorate of Archives, Archaelogy & Museums J&K organized a workshop on Rafugari From 17th to 22nd September, 2018 at new SPS Museum. The workshop was supported by Community, Craft and Heritage Division -INTACH, New Delhi.

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As part of its natural heritage conservation program, INTACH Kashmir takes up restoration of springs around Manasbal Lake as a pilot. In the initial phase of restoration drive, 50 springs were restored around the lake. The life line of any community is water. In Kashmir, nature has bestowed with a rich resource of water in the form of lakes, rivers and above all springs. These springs were a perennial water source for local communities. Unfortunately most and a large number of these springs are facing extinction due to neglect which results water shortages in villages and at some places we have water refugees or climate migrants. The springs are critical part of our survival and needs to be preserved. Keeping in view the importance of preservation of these natural resources which is our natural heritage also, INTACH Kashmir initiated a drive to restore the springs. A local NGO from district Ganderbal, Heeling Touch Foundation is involved to identify the springs around Manasbal lake which are on the verge of extinction. There was an overwhelming response from the local inhabitants during the restoration process.

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Shireen Qalam - The five-day exhibition of old manuscripts & rare art objects was organized by INTACH Kashmir in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art Culture and Languages, Directorate of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Directorate of Tourism, Directorate of Libraries, Shasvat Art Gallery, Peerzada Collection and Hakim Collection. Also, there was a workshop on the art of Islamic Calligraphy there. The program was organized from 7th – 11th June, 2018 at Conference hall, TRC Srinagar. Many old manuscripts & calligraphy works were displayed at the exhibition. The exhibition offered a unique look of different types of rare Islamic manuscripts. One of them is ‘Majooma-Ilm-Ikhlaq’, a nicely written manuscript in the Persian language in 1882 AD. Another type of manuscript is ‘Sad Pand Luqman’ of Hakim Luqman, which is a Persian manuscript scribed by Peer Baksh of Punjab in Khate Nakhoon on ethics. This manuscript written in 1870 AD is specially ornamented with gold and the borders are decorated with pictures of animals and birds. A very warm response was received from the people including locals as well as non-locals who came to the exhibition.

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The old city relived its memory of being the epicenter of art & craft this month. In a week-long exhibition-cum-workshop, art lovers gathered in huge numbers to celebrate the historic art of writing in Kashmir – Islamic Calligraphy. The program, which was organized to revive the cultural ethos of Shehar-i-Khas in terms of artistic skills, was first scheduled from 17-23 July, but on public demand it was extended up to 24th July. The workshop was designed to provide a dynamic skill oriented space to accommodate larger audience, without putting any barriers of formal registration or time-bounding schedule. In seven days, around 14000 people visited the workshop including students, social activists, journalists, artists, government officials, tourists etc. The exhibition was open to all calligraphy artists to showcase their work. The exhibited works of local artists were highly appreciated by all visitors. The program was organized by Kashmir Chapter of INTACH, in collaboration with the Department of Tourism Kashmir, J&K Academy of Art, Culture, and Languages, and a local The event was inaugurated by a renowned master calligrapher, Ustad Muhammad Amin Kundangar, in presence of Director Tourism Kashmir, Secretary J&K Academy of Art, Culture, and Languages, Convener INTACH J&K Chapter, eminent Journalists and Social Activists, and a gathering of locals.

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Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH, Jammu & Kashmir Chapter) in association with J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) and All India Artisans and Craft Workers Welfare Association (AIACA) organized a 3-day training workshop on “Object Photography” in the first week of April 2013 (6th - 9th April, 2013) at the EDI campus Pampore. The workshop was conducted by an eminent photographer Mr. Bharath Chandrasekar with a view to enhancing the photography skills focusing on objects and studio photography. Amateur and professional photographs were selected to benefit from this workshop.

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The chapter hosted an exhibition at LalDed Cultural Centre, Srinagar in which the craft creations supervised by Nilima Sheikh and other members from Asian Heritage Foundation were displayed. These craft creations were part of the 10,000 sft Mural that has been developed for display at the new International terminal at Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, Mumbai.The exhibition depicted a collage of papier-mache, wood carving, pinjrakari - as a tribute to the craftspersons of Kashmir.

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The International Seminar on ‘Mughal Gardens of Kashmir: Towards the UNESCO World Heritage Nomination’ was held in Srinagar at the University of Kashmir from 14 to 16 May 2011 and was the first international seminar on these famed gardens. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Jammu and Kashmir Chapter in collaboration with the University of Kashmir and Department of Floriculture organized the seminar. Renowned historians, landscape, architectural and heritage experts participated in the presentations, site visits and workshop sessions with an aim to press for the nomination of the historic Mughal gardens of Kashmir to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) prestigious list of World Heritage Sites. The seminar was inaugurated by H.E. Governor, Jammu & Kashmir, and N. N Vohra. During the last century, the Mughal gardens faced a sad depletion of their historical character and it was the aim of the seminar to re-examine the Mughal gardens and their wider landscapes and increase our understanding of their historical evolution and significance. Experiences and expertise were shared to arrive at recommendations to inform the preparation of the UNESCO World Heritage nomination. In the meantime the outcomes of the conference and workshops aimed at drafting proposals on the development of sustainable management visions for the gardens and their rehabilitation. A serial nomination of the Mughal Gardens of Kashmir to the UNESCO World Heritage List can bring much needed local, national and international attention to the significance and conservation of the gardens, but as important, it can assist with enhancing the image of Kashmir to the wider public and world, and help to rejuvenate Kashmir as an internationally recognized cultural and heritage tourism destination.

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