Members of the Board of Trustees from Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts recently visited Humayun’s Tomb, a project of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in Delhi, India. The tour, led by Sultana Mangalji, member of the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA)’s National Committee, introduced museum staff and board members to the restored tomb and gardens, as well as the social development efforts in the surrounding neighborhood.

Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s magnificent rehabilitation of the Humayun’s Tomb site and gardens is the first privately funded restoration of a World Heritage Site in India. With the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the project restored the gardens, pathways, fountains and water channels surrounding the Tomb according to the original plans. In consultation with local communities, AKTC’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal Project integrates conservation, socioeconomic development, and urban and environmental development for improving life in the nearby low-income neighborhoods.

Mangalji talked about the development work surrounding the park, including Aga Khan Foundation’s early childhood development centers and a clinic with lab and x-ray facilities, while Mahrukh Tarapor, a consultant to the MFAH and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, guided the art discussion, explaining Humayun Tomb’s architecture and context. Tarapor described herself as a “long-time admirer of many of AKF’s restorations projects.”

“It was a great opportunity to see Mughal Art,” Mangalji said of the tour. “The visiting board members were amazed with the quality of the restoration.”

The February visit came as part of an annual series of trips by the museum’s Board members to countries related to the museum’s holdings. The Houston museum holds a growing collection of Indian art with outstanding examples of painting, sculpture, and photography. It recently opened a new permanent gallery dedicated to arts of the Islamic world.