Breathing new life into the legacy of past civilisations calls for a creativity, imagination, tolerance, understanding, and wisdom well beyond the ordinary. The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP), established in 1992, implements conservation, urban revitalization and area development projects in historically significant sites of the Islamic world undertaking the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures and public spaces in ways that spur social, economic and cultural development. Its projects seek to mobilize local potential and resources in order to ensure their eventual self-sustainability through operational income, human resource development and institutional management capabilities. Through this integrated approach, the Programme seeks to demonstrate that strengthening cultural identity can go hand in hand with socio-economic progress.
Going beyond mere restoration of monuments, the Programme engages in activities related to adaptive re-use, contextual urban planning and the improvement of housing, infrastructure and public spaces. It carries out related socio-economic development initiatives directed at upgrading local living conditions and improving quality of life.
Investments in single project locations or regions are coordinated with other Aga Khan Development Network programmes so that they reinforce each other as they grow together into a critical mass for positive change. In all project locations, community participation and training of local professionals are essential components.
The domed, rubble built tomb stands on a high platform with arched openings on all four sides. The interior of the tomb is ornamented with Quranic verses in incised plasterwork. The high plinth of the monument had been inappropriately repaired necessitating the dismantling of the upper portion of the plinth wall before rebuilding as per original design that had survived in parts. The external and internal wall and dome surfaces were cleaned of algae and dust accumulations and cracks in the dome and over the arches carefully stitched. Lattice stone screens were re-installed in openings, replacing iron grills, to prevent entry of birds into the inner chamber and avoid decay of ornamental plasterwork from bird dropping and nesting. Conservation works will continue through 2010 and will include sensitively landscaping the setting of the monument, in keeping with the architectural and historical character of the monument.