Patched Up Wall

I find it sad when I come across restorations where the skills of modern artisans and the funds available are no match for the job at hand.  This patched up wall at Sri Maha Bodhi – the enclosure for the great Bodhi Tree at Anuradhapura – almost made me cry.

The patched up wall

Perhaps I should be glad that most of the pieces remain if the opportunity to restore it arises again.

Thanks Ailsa for your Walls prompt this week.

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41 thoughts on “Patched Up Wall

    • It’s a bit of a vexed question, isn’t it? Back in those days – no matter where in the world, it was the ruling families and the elite religious institutions which commissioned the most skilled artists and artisans to build and create things of beauty. When I’m impatient I have to remember that most people have never been able to afford high quality workmanship and that slowly, as those old ways died out, the ‘high arts’ have died out too. But, oh how I’d love to see people try … 🙂

  1. I know what you mean. One of the reasons I went on a sabbatical. I was spending more time supervising than designing! It just got too stressful, and I had to weigh the ‘return’ to stress ratio 🙂 These days most professions are just ‘jobs’ – a means to earn money – often paying way more than they deserve. Makes me want to cry too 😦

    • If things in Chennai are anything like they are here, I know exactly what you mean, Madhu. I almost tore my hair out renovating my Kotte house – if it wasn’t the workmanship, it was worm-infested wood, or the wrong paint, or the ….. in the end I just had to say ‘enough’! – and turned to the garden 🙂

  2. And the other side of that coin, is that these days people don’t want to pay for skilled artisans (if they ever did). They want the cheapest possible job, and if it is tat either a) they can’t tell the difference or b) they just don’t care anyway. Believe me, my partner has been decorating for 40 years, craft apprenticed/indentured with full trade papers. It is utterly depressing.

    However, I like the photo. it is quite unusual.

  3. I hope one day the money is available to restore the wall to its former condition. Until then, I guess this has to viewed as a holding pattern. To view it as a permanent “solution” would be tragic.

    • Holding pattern is right – and at least the stones are not being degraded. It’s such an important place – from the perspective of Buddhist Sri Lanka that hopefully the minute funds are available something will be done.

  4. Isn’t it amazing that when tools were simple, creativity was high. Now, with “modern” tools available to do just about anything, creativity seems to be at a low ebb.
    I also, still like the photo.

  5. People just lost their patience. They even complain google is not fast enough. I know that is irrelevante, but that is the mentality…

  6. I can understand your feelings. Those ancient Buddhist sites are so powerful. How sad to see the 21st century has arrived

  7. it makes me want to cry when i see things let go or badly fixed up…these days it seems that often it is all about the allmightly dollar and not the work itself

  8. I’m sad you’re disappointed with the restored wall. I think it’s quite nice, organic and at least not new & concrete or metal but if you had an affection for and connection with the original wall, it would be irksome that the time & effort wasn’t put into proper restoration, or the support of traditional craftsmen and their skills.

  9. Made me think about what I read about St-Malo in France – the city was almost completely destroyed during World War II. It took almost 30 years to reconsruct, often using the same stone displaced by the bombs.

  10. That’s too bad. Sometimes things are better left as is. Like the worn and peeling walls in your Greek picture in an earlier post. That kind of deterioration looks quite artistic. 🙂

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