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THE SHEKHAWATI PROJECT

theshekhawatiproject@gmail.com

CÉCILE CHARPENTIER

HEAD OF THE PROJECT

cecile.charpentier@wanadoo.fr

Workshops

JANUARY - MARCH 2020 : WORKSHOP #4

We are glad to announce that a new phase of restoration will take place from January to March 2020. The goal of this new workshop is twofold:
- Finishing the restoration of Le Prince Haveli's external facade and men courtyard.
- Starting a new restoration project in the Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli where our team will focus on the men courtyard.

Le Prince Haveli, Fatehpur:
Built around 1840 by the Devra family, wealthy opium traders, this Haveli is decorated with exquisite frescoes. The ceiling of the porch is ornamented with a rasamandala - depicting Krishna dansing - and mirrors. The painted pannels in the salon for the guests have been admired by visitors and widely copied in other Havelis.

Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Mandawa:
This Haveli, built in the 1870's, is one of the most remarquable of the region. Its mural paintings from the 1890's are depicting many and varied subjects. Scenes of the life of the merchant Gulab Raiji, of Europeans fixing a machine or of trains are to be found in the facade. This mansion was also rich in erotic paintings. Many of those paintings have been erased but the imagery drawn from the Kamasutra within the musician room remain untouched.

Haveli Le Prince, Fatehpur

The first restoration site of The Shekhawati Project is Le Prince Haveli in Fatehpur.

A first phase has taken place from February to April 2017, a second one from November 2017 to March 2018, and a third one from January 2019 to March 2019.

 

Gathering several experts taking turns to teach scientific techniques to students from France, India, Italy and Switzerland, and Australia. The goal of this project is threefold: restoring a unique haveli, transmitting knowhow and raising public awareness as to the importance of this heritage.

Le Prince Haveli, an exemple in the region

 

Le Prince Haveli was built in the mid-19th century by the Devra Family, rich Marwari merchants of Fatehpur, who had established their business there  because of the strategic location of Shekhawati.

Abandoned during the 1950s because business had moved to larger cities, the haveli was discovered by a French artist, Nadine Le Prince, in 1998. In 1999, she bought it in order to preserve this unique heritage and spent 18 years bringing it back to life. Aiming to  bring together Indian and French culture, she created an international cultural centre with two art galleries, welcoming resident artists.

 

Since November 2016, Nadine Le Prince’s son, photographer Joël Cadiou has turned it into a heritage hotel. The haveli is also open to the public and guided visits are organized every day.

 

Le Prince Haveli is a major attraction in Fatehpur. Yet, despite the major restoration work originally carried out by local craftsmen, the haveli's murals now require a stable and lasting scientific restoration, according to the ethical standards of conservation. That is just what The Shekhawati Project team intend to do.

Video about the  beauty of Fatehpur by Joël Cadiou & Jil Troin Guis