Despite facing challenges, including the departure of her cousin Wajeeda and the need to create sustainable year-round work, Noor continues her dedicated efforts…reports Asian Lite News
Noor Jahan, an expert in art conservation and heritage management from Leh, has dedicated a decade to the question of preserving culture. Through her venture, Shesrig Ladakh, Noor and her cousin Wajeeda Tabassum conduct vital restoration and conservation work on ancient wall paintings, religious manuscripts, thangka paintings, and metalworks. Noor’s passion lies in working on ancient wall paintings and thangkas, a focus inspired by childhood memories and a desire to protect Ladakh’s heritage.
Equipped with a Master’s degree from the Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management and a PhD from the National Museum Institute, Noor has undertaken restoration projects dating back to the late 8th century. Despite facing challenges, including the departure of her cousin Wajeeda and the need to create sustainable year-round work, Noor continues her dedicated efforts.
In addition to her conservation work, Noor is a goalkeeper for the Indian women’s ice hockey team, demonstrating her remarkable versatility. Her journey began with a fortuitous encounter with foreign conservators in Leh, leading her to pursue higher studies in art conservation. Memories of childhood visits to Nubra Valley and the deterioration of ancient paintings further ignited her passion for the field.
Noor’s most significant project, Shesrig Ladakh, was founded in 2017. The venture is based in Choskor House, a historic structure in Leh’s old town. Noor’s team engages in meticulous conservation and restoration work, addressing challenges such as physical access to remote sites and sourcing materials. Documentation, cleaning, and stabilizing are key steps in their conservation process.
For thangka restoration, Noor’s team follows a comprehensive eight-step process, including cleaning, separation, and repair. Despite occasional obstacles stemming from her Muslim faith or lack of awareness in Ladakh about conservation, Noor remains steadfast in her mission to preserve cultural heritage.