The iconic Denmark Tavern — around 200-year-old — is all set to be restored and reinvented as a riverside cafe with limited guest accommodation. This project, worth Rs 4 to Rs 5 crore, tipped to be an attraction for domestic and foreign tourists and is the handiwork of the Serampore Initiative, cobbled together by the National Museum of Denmark and the Government of West Bengal, was launched on Tuesday.
The café is likely to be managed by the Coffee Board, which will set up a Coffee House — with moderately priced food on its table but rich in Danish ambience. “Once the restoration work is done, it will take about three years for the tourism department to run both the eatery and the lodging zone through a lessee or directly,” heritage architect for the project Manish Chakraborti told Millennium Post.
The other projects under implementation by the Serampore Initiative are the restoration of the South Gate and improvement of the surrounding square and conservation of St Olav Church in Serampore, which is in the final stages of implementation. The church will be restored and rededicated to service in February 2016 after two years of careful repair and conservation.
The projects in the pipeline are the restoration of the North Gate of the historic Danish Governor House compound (presently used as a district court compound) and revitalisation of the square in front of the church. The planning for the design of this historic town square will be done by the architects of the conservation department of the school of architecture in New Delhi in January 2016.
The government of West Bengal is all for the restoration of the Governor House, which is also in its final phase of implementation as well as the improvement and landscaping of the spaces between the restored buildings in this historic core of Serampore as part of the 5 year Serampore Initiative.
“The significance of this initiative and the lessons learnt from here could help in revitalising other historic settlements of Bengal, like the French in Chandernagore, the Dutch in Chinsurah and the English at Barrackpore,” Bente Wolff , leading the Serampore Initiative, told Millennium Post.
It is known that while the restoration and planning of the project <g data-gr-id="24">is</g> being funded by the National Museum of Denmark, the infrastructure improvement and landscaping of the spaces around restored buildings will be met by the Government of West Bengal.