Earlier this week the Sindh Culture and Antiquities Department uploaded pictures on twitter after the restoration of Hingorani Mariyoon Mosque in Tando Fazal. Many on twitter made the assumptions that the Sindh Government painted the Mosque white, the government was criticised for “destroying Sindh’s heritage” and even turned the scenario into a series of 'have you been restored by the Sindh Government' memes.
Culture Minister Sardar Ali Shah posted a report consisting of many details on the restoration process on Twitter, explaining that it was not paint but lime paste. The report stated that first gypsum (chiroli) was applied onto the brick masonry, after that a mixture of lime with jute and hill sand was put over it. The workers then applied lime paste with soap stone powder (sangejirat) to tighten the structure.
“All work was performed without adding any chemical or artificial colour, the look of the preserved monument appears white,” the report explained.
Heritage consultant Marvi Mazhar seconds the restoration act that was taken by the department. “Everybody is saying it’s white paint.. but it is not.. It's lime plaster. They just sealed the structure with lime and there is nothing wrong with it,” she told SAMAA on Thursday.
Soon after the pictures were taken off twitter because of the response received by the public and Marvi Mazhar was not impressed.
According to Mazhar’s understanding she perceives that the government will be reluctant to share a comprehensive report of any project in the future because of such a reaction from people who are merely “keyboard warriors" who did not know about the concept behind it. Historian and heritage expert Dr Kareemullah Lashari was of the same opinion about the provincial government’s decision. He stated that the government used a traditional method that involves using kalai choona to restore places. This helps make the lime whiter and shinier which explained why people thought it was chemical paint.