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Norway, Aga Khan cultural service  agree to work together

ISLAMBAD (DNA) The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan have agreed to work together on a new project, Economic and Social Development through Conservation of Shah Burj in the Walled City of Lahore.

The agreement was signed by His Excellency Mr. Tore Nedrebø, the Norwegian Ambassador, and Mr. Salman Beg, the Chief Executive Officer of the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCSP) at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad today.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Royal Norwegian Embassy Islamabad will be providing a grant of NOK 9 million (approximately USD1.14 million) to AKCSP over the period July 2017 through December 2019. The grant goes towards the conservation of the Shah Burj, a section of the Lahore Fort that encompasses a portion of the Picture Wall, as well as the Summer Palace and Sheesh Mahal.

The project includes emergency stablisation and conservation of the built fabric, the establishment of the Summer Palace Museum and a redesigned tourism management plan for the Lahore Fort. The work will be carried out with the facilitation and partnership of the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA).

This project is especially significant as 2017 marks the 25th year of Norwegian partnership with the AKDN in the field of improving lives through harnessing the economic and social development aspects of heritage.

It builds on the lasting impact of tangible improvements in the quality of life in the communities of the Walled City of Lahore, which are already evident as a result of earlier Norwegian-supported conservation projects such as the Mughal-era Shahi Hammam and the North Façade of the Wazir Khan Mosque.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has been working in Lahore since 2007 through its affiliate AKCSP, and has to its credit fourteen UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation; two in the Walled City of Lahore for the Shahi Hammam and the Gali Surjan Singh, and twelve in Gilgit-Baltistan for the restoration and re-use of landmark monuments such as the forts of Baltit, Shigar, Altit and Khaplu Palace.

AKTC is the cultural agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, international, non-denominational institutions working to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of the developing world including Pakistan.

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