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Madhya Pradesh Monuments Project: Learning Through Peer Review and Collaborations

Less than two years ago, the Madhya Pradesh Monuments Project (MPMP)—a partnership between World Monuments Fund and the government of Madhya Pradesh—was an overwhelming list of 43 historic buildings spread across the Indian state that needed to be conserved. Conserving historic buildings in India is a challenge for several reasons aside from the technical and financial, including a lack of skills within the profession and varied perceptions of the communities in which heritage sites are located.

The two-day consultative workshop held in Indore on October 8 and 9 was revealing and energizing for the project coordinating team and others. Today, with over 24 conservation specialists on the job and an engaged client—the Government of Madhya Pradesh—the challenges seem surmountable. The excitement among the professionals of the possibilities of learning from each other, and a dialogue with the multi-disciplinary technical advisory committee, was palpable. The MPMP project, in addition to being a conservation project, is a large-scale demonstration of peer group sharing and multi-stakeholder learning in the field of conservation in the history of cultural heritage management in modern India.