Heritage Section – Maison du Patrimoine
at the Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad
Located at the 4th floor of the Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad, the Heritage Section main missions are:
– to offer a work-space with multimedia tools in order to welcome French, Indian and international researchers who work in the field of heritage conservation.
– to organise public access to the documents through a common heritage resource base.
– to highlight heritage, expose the wealth, explain the stakes developing public interest for heritage through temporary exhibitions, conventions and presentation of research work and artistic projects.
– to create a network of human resources, especially by creating scientific and/or artistic projects.
Beyond these objectives, a Heritage/Architecture section is ready at our library with French, English and Gujarati publications. The Alliance Française will thus collaborate with and support all those who work in this direction, like for instance the Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient -EFEO(French School for Asian Studies)
Please see the details of Dr. Sara Keller at the bottom of this page.
Official opening oh Heritage Section by the H. E. the Ambassador of France to India, Mr. François Richier on October 14, 2013
H.E. inaugurated the new “Heritage Section” of the Alliance Française, which is aimed at developing cooperation to study and preserve the historical buildings and artefacts of Gujarat. The “Heritage Section” has already hosted an exhibition of historical documents on the ports of Gujarat and it is planning one on the restoration of old city buildings of Ahmedabad. Among upcoming projects the digitisation of archives of the French Consulate in Surat (17th to 19th century) is under consideration. These archives tell of the longstanding relation between France and Gujarat and life in old Surat, as seen by French envoys. The “Heritage Section” could become the host of this collection, and make it available to scholars and general public.
DOWNLOAD THE CATALOGUE OF THE EXHIBITION “PORTS TOWNS OF GUJARAT”(PDF document)
The Indo-French collaborative project, lead collectively by the Municipality of Ahmedabad and a French team, involving fundamental work for the revival of the historic city centre of Ahmedabad terminated in 2005, without however creating a space that brings together all the work done. The visibility of these past actions is now absent and the links created are no longer active today. The Heritage Resource Centre, a new department of the Alliance Française, will act as the place of resource of these archives.
The proposed structure aims at the logical continuation of these actions undertaken by France in the past.
With more than 12000 old-styled houses within Ahmedabad itself, the municipality (Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation) wishes to develop actions with its local and international partners based on this unique heritage.
The project of the restoration and renovation of the walled-city was being developed until 2005 with an important French team led by the architect Pierre Cadot, assisted by Ms. Sara Keller. She has been living in Baroda since and teaches at the prestigious MS University. Sara Keller is now ready to collaborate with Alliance Française of Ahmedabad in order to bring her scientific expertise, revive parts of the initial project and develop mid and long term projects.
In the future, within the context of expanding the work team (composed of French and Indian experts) and owing to the dynamic created by the presence of the Maison du Patrimoine/ Heritage Resource Centre we could develop collaborative research projects between Indian and French universities.
As a building archaeologist Dr Sara Keller studies the medieval architecture of Gujarat through the analysis of its archaeological remains and technical characteristics. She wrote her doctorate on Ahmedabad monuments and specialised in the architecture and urban structures of the pre-Mughal period. She is associated with the “Orient and Mediterranean” research unit of the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research), Paris and the History Department of the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. She currently works on port towns of architecture, and medieval water management structures.