03/15: Historic Preservation

Throughout the week in Dhaka we came across examples of historic sites in various states of ruin or repair. The March 13th edition of the Dhaka Tribune had an article on legal protections for historic sites, both part of the national constitution and the 1968 Antiquities Act.

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This building is from Shakhari Bazar in Old Dhaka. Many of the buildings had either been subdivided to accommodate growing families or combined to capitalize on high real estate values. The city has been trying to impose historic designation on the neighborhood for a few years, thus far with no success.

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Both the old colonial government palace and Fort Lalbagh received restoration financed by the state. Apparently the color choice was arbitrary and a bit controversial.

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The city of Sonargaon had both an extensive resoration project underway and a whole street full of grand houses of former Hindu gold merchants, abandoned when word came of the partitioning of the Indian subcontinent along religious lines.

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