Sonargaon's Baro Sardar Bari alive now after renovation

More restoration works underway at Panam City

_A Monitor Report Date: 16 October, 2021 | 453 Views
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Dhaka : One of the most significant heritage sites in Sonargaon, Baro Sardar Bari, is a shining example of restoration of heritage site in Bangladesh in the truest sense, said architect and architectural conservation specialist professor Abu Sayeed Mostaque Ahmed.
It is rare to get an entire one year or more purely to do research before the start of restoration work in Bangladesh. "I'm lucky as I was given the time to do required research first," said professor Sayeed, project director of the Baro Sardar Bari restoration work.
South Korea-based global conglomerate Youngone Corporation restored Baro Sardar Bari in Sonargaon, which is the first attempt to preserve a cultural heritage site in Bangladesh.
Youngone Corporation Chairman and CEO Kihak Sung restored his own village home and he has a personal interest in restoration.
Sung wanted to apply what he learned from his home and pursued hard to restore the whole Panam City as he believes this kind of restoration project is really necessary to build the culture in Bangladesh so that the people can enjoy and be proud of what their ancestors done before.
South Korean ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun, who visited Sonargaon on October 11 for the first time, said, "I'm very happy to be here. I feel so close to this country. It's very impressive."
Korean EPZ President Jahangir Saadat said it is unique because this is the first of its kind in Bangladesh for a private company like Youngone Corporation to take up a restoration project of a famous heritage site.
Professor Sayeed said the main goal of conservation is to give a longer life to a building. "We've been successful."
The restoration of Baro Sardar Bari was made possible through a unique public-private partnership between the cultural affairs ministry of Bangladesh and Youngone.
Youngone had undertaken an initiative to conserve this building in an authentic and scientific manner as part of the social responsibility and commitment towards Bangladesh.
Also, extensive research was conducted to restore the building to its original grandeur. The restoration included the façade, ornamentation, inner courtyard reconstruction and plastering of interior walls.
On the other hand, the Archaeology Department recently took another initiative to restore and preserve the old pillars of the city. As part of it, building no 13 is undergoing renovation work already. 
Last year on August 13, a committee of six including archaeologists and architects was formed to carry out restoration works on building no 13 of Panam City. On December 21, 2020, Cultural Affaires State Minister KM Khalid inaugurated the renovation project which is still underway. Already, digital drive documentation, load bearing capacity test, aerial survey and level excavation has been completed as the pilot project work.   
In 2006, World Monument Fund enlisted Panam City as one of the 100 ruined cities in the world. However, the Archaeology Department first took actions to restore the city in 2001. The government in 2003 included Panam City in the gazette as a preserved antiquity. And from October 6, 2015, visitors are having to buy tickets to visit Panam City.

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