BHARAT FLOORINGS - PRESS & MEDIA
It is a rare case of a corporate wanting to “restore Heritage “. Dilnavaz Variava, Chairperson and Director, Bharat Tiles and Flooring, says that is the sole purpose of her exhibition of Heritage™ tiles being organized by the Indian National Trust for art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) from March 20 at its own auditorium in Lodi Estate.
“I believe in restoring Heritage flooring because it’s only the floor of a building that can go onto become tomorrow’s Heritage,” says Variava. Everything else in a building can be changed, except the flooring that gives out period the building was constructed in.
Variava’s tryst with this 12th century Heritage began with her father, Pherozesha Sidhwa, handing down the production of these tiles, popularly known as Minton tiles, to her.
“These tiles were brought to India in 1922. They were first produced in the 12th century by Cistercian monks in England, and extensively used in churches and monasteries. Where the tiles came down to India in the 1920s, they were used in Raj Bhawans and royal palaces, but with the production of these tiles closing down in the 1940s these Heritage buildings had now here to go for conserving these tiles.”
In 1999, Variava first came up with the idea of Heritage™ flooring when the first kala Godha festival held in Mumbai invited her to revive floors laid out of Milton titles in some Mumbai's Heritage buildings. Slowly, Variava realized that buildings outside Mumbai also had Minton tiles and needed immediate attention.
This set Variava on a trail of conservation with the restoration of floors in places like Salarjung Museum in Hyderabad, Bangalore club, Sikandarabad Club, Kasauli Club and Woodstock School in Mussoorie.
Variava works with a team of specially skilled masons. “The process was tough. With production closing, many of the original moulds had been lost. We had to work for two years to restore these moulds and then start the restoration work, done manually.”
“Delhi has some of the most exquisite building in the most exquisite buildings in the country. That is the reason why I am here to promote the conservation of these floors,” she said.