Heritage At Risk Program
Silk Road Centre’s Heritage At Risk Program (HARP) is Pakistan’s first citizen-led initiative designed to document and develop an interactive databank of cultural heritage that is under imminent threat of decay and destruction. Pakistan is endowed with cultural and religious heritage of immense historic, spiritual, social, scientific and aesthetic value. There are hundreds of ancient sites in the form of stupas, temples, gurduwaras, churches, mosques, Sufi shrines, gardens, tombs, relics, palaces, havelis, archeological complexes, manuscripts, and rock carvings. Despite the country’s stringent antiquity laws, cultural assets across all the provinces and regions of Pakistan are likely to vanish due to illegal excavations by treasure hunters who in collusion with powerful mafias smuggle these treasures out of the country. HARP engages the citizens to identify and share information on heritage assets that are at the risk of decay, destruction or vandalism in any part of Pakistan.
Heritage Photo Contests
Organized annually at the national level, Heritage Photo Contests are designed to promote culture and heritage. These photo contests provide a forum to empower youth to promote both cultural understanding and conservation photography as a medium to support cultural education and preservation of endangered heritage for future generations.
Every year, contestants are invited to submit entries on a selected theme relevant to culture and heritage. Winners of the photo contest are awarded prizes at a ceremony where the top images are put on display for public viewing. Lok Virsa and Nestle Pakistan supported these contests in the past.
The Silk Road Centre organizes yearly Heritage Forums, which are intended to provide a platform to exchange information on key issues related to preservation of Pakistan’s cultural heritage. The Forums also aim to create a network of public institutions, academic bodies and civil society to heighten public awareness and to create opportunities for collaborative work on heritage conservation.