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Indian conservation Jeernodharana

India had known the philosophy of conservation in parts of the Ancient treatises of Vastusastra, in the form of Jiirnnoddharana much before the Europeans.

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Indian conservation Jeernodharana

  1. 1. Concept of Jeernnodharana Dr. Binumol Tom Professor and Head, Department of Architecture, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Kottayam
  2. 2. • Philosophies of Conservation - care, stewardship and that of truth. • Theory of conservation - respect for the value and authenticity of the remains of the past. • Concern for authenticity – 18th century romantic and historicist philosophies of the west - as a reaction to the conservation movements germinated from the works of enlightened individuals like John Ruskin, William Morris, George Gilbert Scott and Viollet- le-Duc and other people and altruistic groups. PHILOSOPHIES OF CONSERVATION
  3. 3. John Ruskin • The Lamp of Memory where Ruskin introduces the idea of stewardship: “...it is again no question of expediency or feeling whether we shall preserve the buildings of past times or not. We have no right whatever to touch them. They are not ours. They belong partly to those who built them, and partly to all the generations of mankind who are to follow us…….” John Ruskin, Seven Lamps of Architecture, 1849 19th century art critic and social critic, author, poet and artist. Ruskin's essays on art and architecture were extremely influential in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
  4. 4. “We admit that it is wrong to waste time. If it is wrong to waste the time of the living, then it is still more wrong to waste the time of the dead. For the living can redeem their time, but the dead cannot. But we waste the time of the dead when we destroy the works that they have left for us, for to those works, they gave us the best of their time, intending for them immortality”. John Ruskin, Seven Lamps of Architecture,1849 • A reaction to the then popular trend to ‘restore’ old buildings that William Morris founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) in England in 1877.
  5. 5. • A crisp distinction between 'restoration' and 'repair'. Ruskin felt that 'restoration' means: “the most total destruction which a building can suffer: a destruction out of which no remnants can be gathered: a destruction accompanied with false description of the thing destroyed”. He goes on to say; “1t is impossible, as impossible as to raise the dead, to restore anything that has ever been great or beautiful in architecture”. Ruskin could not digest the idea, of new stones equaling in value to the work of the old craftsmen.
  6. 6. Viollet-le-Duc – stylistic restoration • French architect and theorist, famous for his restorations of medieval buildings – central figure in Gothic revival in France. • Viollet-le-Duc in France, considered surviving remains as sufficient indication of the intent of the original builder to guide contemporary restoration. • added elements to a structure in order to sustain its existence
  7. 7. Viollet-le-Duc – stylistic restoration “Knowing that restoration inevitably unsettles old buildings, one must compensate for this curtailment of strength by giving power to the new parts, by perfecting the structure, by clamping walls, and by introducing greater resistances, for prolonging the life of the building is the true task of restoration”. His intention was to extend the life of the monument by providing materials and construction methods, which were superior to those used in the past.
  8. 8. • By replacing construction methods and materials with new methods and materials, the historical record of the building were remarkably altered. • He advocated his philosophy of stylistic restoration through stating that, “what is picturesque today might well be only a memory tomorrow and further argued that what could be skillfully substituted today, would in turn weather and become picturesque to later generations”.
  9. 9. Historic development of conservation in Europe • Romantic Restoration (1819-1900) represented by John Ruskin • Stylistic Restoration (1830-1870) represented by Violet le Duc • Historical Restoration (1880-90) represented by Lucca Beltrami • Scientific Restoration (1932) represented by Giovanoni Whatever be the type – Authenticity is of main concern…..
  10. 10. Authenticity???? • Authentic – of undisputed origin, genuine, reliable or trustworthy – Greek- authentikos • What is authentic for our architectural heritage? Two approaches – 1) Principles and practices of agencies - aligns with the ‘universal practices’ advocated by UNESCO 2) Centuries old tradition of the craftsmen
  11. 11. Jiirnnoddharana • In India, both the points of view of the French as well as the British, had existed long ago, in essence, in parts of the Ancient treatises of Vastusastra, in the form of Jiirnnoddharana. • Jiirna, means 'old, decayed,' and also 'the process of getting old, of decaying.' Uddhaarana means 'lifting, raising up' and also 'delivering'.
  12. 12. • The compound Jiirnnoddharana can be glossed in two ways: jiirnaat + uddhaarana (ablative tatpurusa), deliverance from decay jiirnasya + uddhaarana (genitive tatpurusa), 'raising up of [what is] old or decayed'. The first has a preventive sense and can be understood as preservation or conservation (from servere, 'to- keep, protect,' etc., but still not in the modern sense), while the latter has a restorative sense (bringing back to youth/life what is already old and decayed). Jiirnnoddharana
  13. 13. The essence of Jiirnnoddharana • The basic cause of every creation (Sargaprakriya) is the coalescence of Prakriti and Purusa. • Life to Prasadavastu • Similar to growth even to decay is the law of nature and is inevitable and every object natural or manmade has to undergo change. • So even the prasadapurusa too has to undergo change and decay.
  14. 14. • No creature is immortal in this universe - the process of Srsti (creation), Sthiti (existence) and Samhara (destruction) are going on continuously.  So every prasadapurusa should also undergo the five stages of life viz Balyam (childhood), Koumaram (adolescence), Youvanam (climacteric), and Vardakyam (old age) one by one and finally Maranam (death).
  15. 15. • After the final stage ‘the death’, fortunately some of the prasadapurusas too may have reincarnations or greenings or bringing back to life of usefulness - relevance of Jiirnnoddharana. Literature on Jiirnnoddharana • Tantrasamuccayam the 15th century foundation text by Chenasu Narayanan Namboothiripad, Agamas, Samhitas, Tantras…. • Naradeeyasamhita, Vishwaksenasamhita, Prathishttamayookham, Bhargavatantram, Vishwamitrasamhita, Suprabhedagamam, Padmasamhita, Kamikamagam, Rauravagamam, Karanagamam, Sookshagamam, Ajithagamam, Chindyagamam, Veeragamam, Markhandeyasamhita, Aparajitha Prachha
  16. 16. Jiirnnoddharana – relevance?? • Whether it is Jiirnnoddharana or modern conservation science – “the respect for life and materials is given prime consideration”. • In traditional jiirnoddharana concept authenticity was believed to be more in spirit than in material. • Historic ways of building to be conserved. • The Nara Conference on Authenticity, held in Nara, Japan (1995)
  17. 17. Thank you

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