Proposal placed in Cabinet to preserve Bangabandhu’s ancestral home

Architect Abu Sayeed M Ahmed presented the restoration proposal on behalf of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in a meeting chaired by Bangabandhu's daughter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on Monday.

The structure that has been around for more than a century had been renovated several times and also when Bangabandhu was alive, said Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor.

"It is a part of our heritage. It was again renovated five to six years ago without the knowledge of the prime minister.

"It had not followed the restoration process. They used plaster and paint in places which once had limestone," he said.

"An old structure like that needs strengthening but its essence must remain intact."

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who would later emerge as the Father of the Nation, was born in Tungiparha, 19 kilometres from Gopalganj Sadar, on Mar 17, 1920.

On Aug 15, 1975, just a few years after he had spearheaded Bangladesh's liberation from Pakistan, the Bangabandhu was murdered along with most of his family members in a coup by a group of disgruntled army officers at his home in Dhaka's Dhanmondi.

He is buried next to his parents at Tungiparha.

The Awami League government in 1996 began making the Bangabandhu Mausoleum Complex and Sheikh Hasina officially inaugurated in Jan 10, 2001.

"The lime mortar buildings in this region were reinforced with super and Gaub (velvet apple) juice so the walls would not go damp. The bricks they used back then were shaped differently. We don't have bricks like those anymore."

Minister Noor mentioned the work to restore Sardar Barhi at Sonargaon.

"We made specially shaped bricks for that. Architect Sayeed Ahmed was in charge of the team that included craftsmen from Rajshahi who are experts at making those bricks."

He said three alternative designs have been put into the proposal that reflected the various phases the house went through until the Bangabandhu's time.

"We've handed over a detailed proposal to the prime minister besides the presentation by Sayeed Ahmed. She will look into it and decide." he told reporters.

Source: Bangladesh's First Internet Newspaper