232-year-old Denmark Tavern in the historical town of Serampore in West Bengal is ready to host visitors after two years of renovation that cost Rs 5 crore. The renovation cost of Rs 5 crore has been borne by Realdania, a private association in Denmark which supports philanthropic projects in the realms of architecture and planning, and the Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal. The restored building will serve both as a cafe and a lodge.
The idea of restoring the building started in 2010-11 when a group of restoration experts studied the building that stood in complete ruins. Lot of research work has been done while doing the restoration of this building and information had to be dug out of several archives as nobody remembered anything about this dilapidated building. Archival research in terms of topographical maps, paintings and photographs were supplemented by building archaeology and sample excavations of foundations and plinth by clearing all the debris. Restoration of this centuries old tavern is the result of combined efforts of experts from the National Museum of Denmark, officials from the West Bengal government and conservation architect Manish Chakraborti.
The State Tourism Department is planning to hand over the maintenance of the restored building to a private agency.