Millennium Post

Serampore’s 210-year-old church to reopen later this week

A 210-year-old church in the former Danish colony of West Bengal's Serampore town will reopen this week after being restored with funds from the Denmark government.

The roof of the heritage St Olav's Church, which collapsed in 2010, was restored after the Danish Ministry of Culture generously donated funds to restore the piece of architecture from a bygone era.

The restoration work began in 2013 and following the 3-crore restoration, the church property is now ready to be reopened to the public later this week, Bishop Ashoke Biswas said.

St Olav Church was built in 1806 during the time when Serampore was a flourishing trading town under Danish administration.

Conservation architect Manish Chakraborti from Kolkata and Dr Flemming Aalund from the 

National Museum of Denmark got together to design the restoration plan by using traditional materials and techniques.

The original doors, windows and furniture were restored while flooring was relaid with sandstone from Rajasthan. 

Lime mortars and organic pigments were used on all walls, following the original colour scheme established through a scientific paint analysis, said Dr Bente Wolff of the National Museum of Denmark. 

She said a new roof was laid using the traditional water-proofing technique of compacting lime concrete through weeks of continuous beating.
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