The Ahhichatragarh Fort and Palace Complex at Nagaur in Rajasthan is famous for its stunning complex of palaces and gardens. Under the direction of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust and His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II, it has been the subject of major conservation initiatives, including award-winning conservation of the site. In 2005, conservation of the exquisite schemes of wall painting was begun by The Courtauld Institute of Art, and continues with the support of the Leon Levy Foundation.

All three partners aim to develop Nagaur as a centre of conservation excellence. Thus, in 2013 the Leon Levy Foundation provided generous funding to establish a well-equipped Centre for Conservation Studies with facilities for both teaching and conservation. In addition to laboratories for materials analysis, microscopy, and digital imaging, there is a conference and teaching hall.

people sitting outside under a porch at Nagaur
three females looking at a wall painting at Nagaur
students in a class looking at a projection
group picture
female and male student wearing white lab coats examining a wall painting
group of students sitting around a table outdoors
woman and man outdoors
woman and man near wall paintings in Nagaur
group of students looking at a laptop screen
group picture
four people standing outdoors one person sitting
three people wearing white lab coats looking at screens
night picture building with arcades
group of people looking at a wall
building fassade in Nagaur
wall painting on a ceiling
group picture students holding certificates
group picture students standing

An initial programme of conservation studies was offered in 2014. Generously supported by the Leon Levy Foundation, specialist courses provided knowledge and skills essential to conservation decision-making and practice. Courses were taught by experts and included both theory and hands-on practice appropriate for conservation on site, and of objects and collections. Additional support was provided by the Aldama Foundation through their provision of specialist training equipment.

The teaching programme continues annually, with specialist teaching designed to introduce principles of conservation, assessment and recording of condition, technical and multispectral imaging, assessment of materials, understanding and recording the environment, and biodeterioration and its control.

Teaching and examination are in English. Each course is examined and participants receive a certificate for courses successfully completed.

Participants may include both experienced conservators and those at entry-level. Focus area for recruitment is South-Asia. There is no fee to attend the course, and the Mehrangarh Museum Trust generously provides accommodation and meals in Nagaur Fort, as well as transport to and from Jodhpur. Some financial support is available for travel costs from your home city to and from Jodhpur.

Participant comments:

‘My experience at Nagaur has been life changing… the emphasis of thinking of conservation critically and the issues and ethics involved in conservation is also a very important lesson. I hope this program continues in the future as I think a lot of people will benefit from it … what the Leon Levy Foundation is doing is unique. ‘

I have never before felt so enthusiastic about anything in my life.’

‘Money can buy material but it cannot buy the knowledge which people have attained in their life. This workshop is a clear example for this.

‘We all are very thankful… for conducting such a wonderful program which is, as far as I know, the first of its kind in India.’ 

Programme Dates: Programme will not be conducted in 2022.
Please visit this website for further programme announcements in October 2022.
Language: Teaching and examination is in English.
Location: Nagaur Fort, Rajasthan, RJ 341001, India.