Lady Hardinge statue restored to original brass colour

- June 5, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

The historic Lady Hardinge Medical College building is being renovated by INTACH with many old features getting touch-up 

ALL SET: The jharokha at the Lady Hardinge Medical College will also undergo renovation

Delhi: The historic Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, is undergoing extensive conservation aimed at preserving its rich heritage and ensuring its continued significance for the historical and educational legacy.

The conservation work is being executed by the Architectural Heritage Division, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Delhi chapter.

Officials of INTACH told Patriot that major conservation work has already started at the medical college, which was established in 1916.

“We have started the conservation of Lady Hardinge’s statue at the college. Over the years it was painted in black colour and everyone believed its original colour was black. But upon closer inspection during the conservation process, we found that its original colour is brass,” the official added.

He mentioned that it took them 15 days to remove the black colour and restore the statue to its original colour.

“Our team applied various chemicals on it. It has been restored to its original colour, although it is currently covered as the tomb above it is currently undergoing renovation. Once the renovation is complete, we will add preservative coating to the statue,” he explained.

The official said that fresh red sandstone will be fixed to the surface of the statue.

“Cleaning of white sandstone pillars surrounding the statue will also be done,” he said.

The tomb above the Lady Hardinge statue, which is undergoing restoration, was “giving a bad look to the tomb”.

“It was filled with wall putty, white cement, whitewash and paint layer. We have now cleaned it and are currently filling the joints. At the end, we will add preservative coating,” the official elaborated.

Renovation is also planned for a jharokha (window or an enclosed balcony that was traditionally a source of light and ventilation in heritage houses) at the director’s building in the college.

“The old colour [of the jharokha] will be removed and the original colour will be restored,” he said.

Furthermore, the facade of the building will also undergo renovation.

“Earlier, it was covered with cement, white colour and terracotta. But now we will go for water damage fixing and proper coating to preserve its originality,” he added.

The INTACH team is also engaged in the maintenance and renovation of four rooms of college’s anatomy department which suffered major damage during a fire incident in August last year.

“We are using lime for its plastering, carrying out woodwork. Electric work will follow in the coming days. Subsequently, we will consider options like lime pruning or lime paint,” the official mentioned.

The non-profit charitable organisation has completed waterproofing work at director’s building which is a heritage structure.

Delhi: The Lady Hardinge statue that had turned black
COATED: The Lady Hardinge statue that had turned black

“We removed layers of cement of 7-8 inches which were a burden on the building. It has caused issues like cracks and seepage to the building. We then went for the removal of the titles and added lime concrete, chemicals to refix the tiles. Finally, we applied white colour water-proofing layer,” the official said.

“We are also going to take up the maintenance work of physiology building in near future. It will include waterproofing, room plastering and electric work,” he added.

Lady Hardinge, who established this prestigious institution, is revered by generations of students. She was affectionately called ‘Amma’ and is a symbol of inspiration for aspiring medical professionals.