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The Disappearing Wall Paintings

Shortage of epigraphists is a problem. Shortage of people who can restore wall paintings is a bigger problem. OP Agrawal, director general if Indian Council of Conservation Institutes identifies the problems.

I believe one of the main reasons for such a situation is lack of awareness and lack of understanding of the importance of these mural paintings in the general public. I have come across cases in which beautiful old paintings in some temples were scraped off and painted anew with oil or even enamel paint. Such examples are in plenty. Therefore, perhaps lecturers and courses in the appreciation of the beauty of paintings may be of some help.

A connected problem is lack of funds for conservation of wall paintings. Money for raising a new temple, a new church may be raised in no time but there may not be many takers to save an old temple and an old church. There are some well-meaning corporate houses, which do come forward to help in the conservation of old arts and old cultural heritage, but there are not very many.

Training in conservation and restoration of wall paintings is another area that needs urgent attention. There is no institution in India, which offers an in-depth course in conservation of wall paintings. A untrained person may cause more harm to the paintings than caused by no treatment.[Wall paintings of India: Will they survive for long?]

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