Conservation of the Scots' Cemetery In Kolkata: Beyond the Tangible

 Registration is closed for this event
Indian conservation architect Dr Neeta Das will talk about her experiences overseeing the careful conservation of this most important colonial cemetery. From an initial jungle a wonderful selection of monuments have appeared.

The Scottish Cemetery, Kolkata was laid out in 1820 by the St. Andrew’s Church for the Scots, Presbyterians, and other protestant denominations including Methodists and Baptists. It fell into disuse after the independence of India and by 1950 was abandoned and slowly became derelict. In 2008, Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust, a Scottish Charity, took up the responsibility of restoring the Scottish Cemetery to its former glory.

Currently an all Indian team, comprising of architects, archaeologists, landscape specialists, horticulturists, civil engineers, restoration contractors, historians, to name a few, are involved in the conservation of the Scottish Cemetery. The project comprises not only the scientific restoration of its 1600 tombs and the development of the landscape in which they are set, but also a community led urban regeneration of the area where the cemetery is located. The project vision finally envisages to set up a sustainable model to secure the future of the cemetery by initiating the process of re-burials and making it relevant to the city again.

Dr Neeta Das is visiting Edinburgh and will give this lecture to SPAB Members and Friends on her experiences of conserving such a rich selection of monuments.  Neeta has long been an enthusiastic follower of SPAB Principles, and we are very pleased to welcome her to Scotland to speak to us on this occasion.

Join us at 6pm in Adam House, 3 Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1HT on Thursday 4th April 2019 for the lecture, to be followed by drinks in the foyer.

Tickets - £6
(Current students of Edinburgh University Centre for Conservation Studies are free - please register via the booking link above)


Speaker Biography:

Neeta Das is a graduate in Architecture (1987) from CEPT, Ahmedabad, M.S. (Arch.) in Architectural History, Criticism, & Pedagogy (1995) from the University of Cincinnati, USA, a Ph.D. from SPA Delhi/ Lucknow University (2004), and specialist in conservation from Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, London (2004) and Scottish Lime Center, Charlestown (2013 & 2015). Das was a professor of architecture in Lucknow before she moved to Kolkata in 2011. Since, she is a visiting faculty at the School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad for the post graduate and doctoral studies and continues her research and practice in conservation.  

Das practices as a conservation architect under Neeta Shubhrajit Das Associates in Kolkata. Some of her major restoration works are Constantia, Lucknow; Stands, Royal Calcutta Turf Club, Kolkata; Krsna Temple, Patan Darbar Square (a World Heritage Monument), Nepal; Scottish Cemetery, Kolkata; St Thomas Church, Kolkata; Loudoun Mansion, Kolkata, to name a few. Her work emphasises the holistic and sustainable conservation of old buildings and urban areas by re-aligning them with the mainstream systems and developments.

A prolific writer, Das has authored and co-authored several books on the 18th and 19th century architecture and their conservation for Prestel, Marg, Times of India, INTACH, and other publishers. The Architecture of Imambaras, Indian Architecture: Problems in the Interpretation of 18th & 19th Century Architecture, The Architecture of Lucknow, are some of the books written by her; Murshidabad, Forgotten Capital of Bengal, published by Marg, co-edited with Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, is her most recent publication. 

Most of her writings and practise is based on primary research. Her current subject of inquiry is historic building materials, especially mortars, and the problems of their interpretation as modern restoration mortars. The research is funded by national and international grants; the most recent being Gerda Henkel Stiftung, Germany. The project was earlier funded by Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust, UK and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, India. The findings of the research have been widely published and disseminated through lectures, presentations, and workshops.



About SPAB Scotland

Members of the SPAB living and working in Scotland decided to form their own semi-autonomous group in 1995. Scotland has its own building traditions, architectural language and property laws, all of which are best dealt with locally. All members of the SPAB residing in Scotland are automatically members of SPAB Scotland.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Accessibility: please contact the Group Organiser before booking to discuss any special access requirements.

4th April 2019 6:00 PM
Adam House
University Of Edinburgh
3 Chambers Street
United Kingdom
Lecture - Scots Cemetery £ 6.00
Lecture - Edinburgh University Conservation Student £ 0.00

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