Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Delhi Branch Office



Authentic Renewal. Towards a Transcultural Understanding of Architectural Conservation

This film screening and discussion was jointly organised by Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan (MMB), DFG and Heidelberg Centre South Asia (HCSA) on Thursday, November 20th.

Within the Cluster of Excellence at the University of Heidelberg, Prof. Niels Gutschow and Prof. Rabindra Vasadava have made a documentary about “Jain Architectural Heritage. Building new and Restoring Old Temples in Gujarat"  in 2011 (39 minutes, Thede Filmproduktion). The film addresses architectural conservation from the vantage point of transcultural studies, and thus provides a crucial contribution to the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe”, at Heidelberg University.

Prof. Niels Gutschow graduated in architecture from Darmstadt University, and wrote his PhD thesis on the Japanese Castle Town in 1973. In addition to many other fields of research, Niels Gutschow has concentrated on urban space and rituals in India and Nepal for many years. Since 2004, he is an honorary professor at Heidelberg University, Dept. of Indology, and he was one of the re-searchers of the prestigeous DFG's SFB "Ritualdynamik".

Prof. Rabindra Vasavada is an Architect-Researcher based in Ahmedabad. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland as well as a life member of the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTA-CH). Since 1980, he has been involved in studies of Indian temple architecture. He has extensively worked for sever-al conservation projects (UN-ESCO) and also for DFG projects, and he was also a Senior Research Fellow at the Cluster of Excellence.

The screening of the film was followed by a lively discussion with the two scholars and film makers. Comments concentrated on the important interface of academic research and conservation work, for documenting the cultural heritage o India. The event was also graced by the presence of Prof. Ved Prakash (Chairman, University Grants Commission)  and Prof. Manju Singh (UGC).

Photos:  Prof. Vasavada and Prof. Gutschow when introducing their film Prof. Vasavada being handed over the Heidleberg University Atlas as a gift Prof. Ved Prakash (UGC) with Prof. Gutschow

Posted on 26 Nov 2014
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