Saturday 23 November 2019

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Culture | Art

Exhibition promotes Goa's 'Portuguese' windows

 

Windows in various styles adorning Goa's Portuguese-era heritage buildings in 18th Century that are slowly crumbling have drawn the attention of a couple here who have raised the issue through an exhibition.

An exhibition titled '100 windows of Goa', curated by Goan couple Henry and Fenesy Nazareth, today presented the highly-decorated windows through illustrations on canvass and dresses. 

Henry said they did an extensive research for five years and visited several old villas and mansions in the villages of Goa to bring out this exhibition. 

"Being true Goans we were so obsessed with these unique windows that every village that we visited we only thought of a window," said Henry, an architect by profession. 

The exhibition was inaugurated by Travel and Tourism Association of Goa president Francisco Braganza at Kala Academy. Goa Governor B V Wanchoo was among the visitors. 

Fenesy said that there were moments when they felt pain while looking at some of these windows which are on the verge of crumbling and there's no one to restore them. 

"The grandeur of the house was in its window," she said. 

The windows, which contributed to the richness of Gothik style architecture, were unique in the sense that some of the panes were made of oyster fish shells, many of which had cast iron balcony. 

 

"There were some long balconies which had two-three windows," she said. 

Many of these mansions, depicting the Indo-Portuguese architecture, are left unoccupied because of people migrating abroad. They are crumbling due to nature's vagaries and lack of maintenance. 

After an extensive research and discussion with owners of these houses, Henry concluded that the huge cost involved in maintaining these windows and scarcity of artisans, who can actually mend them, have forced these structures to this fate. 

"Some windows took months together to be properly repaired. Also, the increasing cost of wood has forced people to change with aluminium windows," Fenesy said. 

The couple fears that the next generation might not be able to see this unique heritage, if it is not documented.






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