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III International Workshop-cum-Seminar on


 1st to 6th December, 2023 

About us

The International Union of Geological Sciences - International Commission on Geoheritage-Heritage Stones Subcommission (IUGS-ICG-HSS) has been advancing the recognition of natural stones with historical and cultural significance, utilized in architectural monuments. After the successful 1st International Stone Workshop at Salamanca in Spain in October 2018 and the 2nd International Stone Workshop at Torino in Italy in October 2021, India is hosting the III International Workshop-cum-Seminar on Natural Stones and Conservation of Heritage Stones in 2023 under the aegis of IUGS-ICG-HSS and IUGS-UNESCO IGCP-637 project HerStones: Heritage Stone Recognition-A Step Forward. The workshop in India is supported by Panjab University (Chandigarh), International Council for Geosciences Research (a forum of the International Society for Life Sciences, Jaipur), University of Rajasthan and Center for Stone Development (CDOS).

Opening Message from Secretary General (IUGS), Prof. Stanley C Finney



Prof. Renu Vig


Panjab University,

Chandigarh (India)

It is with great pleasure that I extend a heartfelt welcome to the delegates of the III International Stone Workshop in India. This workshop will serve as a unique platform for all of you to explore the Indian Heritage stones which are displayed in diverse monuments with historical significance. During the field visits in Jaipur and Agra you will witness the sustainable practices associated with stone craftsmanship in India. The Indian heritage stones are the sole witness of the creativity and skill of those who came before us, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure its preservation for future generations.

Throughout the workshop, you will have the opportunity to engage with experts, and contribute to discussions that delve into the depths of heritage stones, historical quarries and stone monuments. As you all come together to celebrate India’s stone built cultural legacy, I am sure it will lead to collaborations, exchange of ideas, and motivate each one of you to continue the important work of safeguarding our stone heritage. Presence of each one of you adds tremendous value to this event, and I am confident that the III International Heritage Stone Workshop will be a source of inspiration and learning for all and will undoubtedly contribute to the success of this workshop.

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Dr. Asier Hilario Orús


Commission on Geoheritage (ICG)

It is with great pleasure that I extend my most sincere congratulations to the organizers of the III International Workshop cum Seminar on Natural Stones and Conservation of Heritage Stones. This is a very important step forward for the consolidation of the IUGS Heritage Stone program and therefore for the Subcommission on Heritage Stones and the International Commission on Geoheritage itself. This commission was reformulated in 2020 by the IUGS EC with a clear mandate to set global standards for the international recognition of IUGS Geological Heritage Sites, Heritage Stones and Geo-Collections. IUGS recognition is based on a transparent process of selection and evaluation made by experts. This process represents an open spirit of international collaboration towards a global recognition of geological sciences and their invaluable contribution to human culture, history and recent evolution.

Geological Heritage Sites represent the best examples of extraordinary geological elements and processes that made a significant contribution to the development of the science of geology. Geo-Collections are recognized by their scientific, historical or educational value. Heritage Stones represent a great opportunity to underline the close relation between geology and human culture and history by giving recognition to those natural stones that had an important contribution to significant architecture and monuments recognized as an integral aspect of human culture.

The organization of the “III International Workshop cum Seminar on Natural Stones and Conservation of Heritage Stones” in the frame of the IUGS International Commission on Geoheritage is also a recognition itself to the leaders of the Sub-commission on Heritage Stones. They have worked hard during the last three years to bring together a wide group of international experts, who  redefine the standards and the guidelines according to the IUGS, which really welcomes the consolidation of this important endeavor. Special thanks go to Angela Ehling, Gurmeet Kaur and Victor Cardenes for their collaboration and constructive spirit.  Congratulations!

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Prof. Harsh Nayyar

Director RDC,

Panjab University,

Chandigarh (India)

I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to all attendees of the III International Heritage Stone Workshop in India. The workshop will provide an exclusive opportunity for all of you to learn about the unique heritage stones of India at various historically significant monuments.The emphasis on heritage stones, ancient quarries, and stone monuments indicates a comprehensive exploration of the historical and cultural significance of these stones in India. The opportunity to interact with specialists and participate in talks is invaluable for gaining insights into the intricacies of preserving and understanding stone-built cultural legacies. The celebration of India's stone-built cultural legacy is crucial for raising awareness about the importance of preservation among masses.I wish you a successful and inspiring Workshop, and I am confident that it will indeed contribute significantly to the preservation and appreciation of India's rich stone heritage.

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Prof. Gurmeet Kaur

Panjab University,
Chandigarh (India)

Chair-Heritage Stone
Convener, III International
Stone Workshop

The Heritage Stone Subcommission, part of the International Commission on Geoheritage under the International Union of Geological Sciences, focuses on documenting and studying the geological attributes of natural stones used in historical monuments. Its mandate includes identifying significant stone-built structures and historical quarries to enrich our understanding of past civilizations and contribute to cultural heritage preservation.

The UNESCO-IGCP and Heritage Stone Subcommission supported the first two stone workshops in Spain and Italy, giving way to the third workshop in India. The delegates attending this III International Stone Workshop will get an exceptional opportunity to witness a few Indian Heritage stones, which are on exhibit in historically and culturally significant monuments of Jaipur and Agra. This workshop will give ample opportunity to each one of us to interact with specialists and participate in talks that explore the intricacies of heritage stones during the technical sessions and field visits to quarry sites and some of the UNESCO monuments.

The event's success is likely to be amplified by the diverse perspectives and expertise brought by the delegates, and their continued dedication to the mission of Heritage Stone subcommission.

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Prof. Stanley C Finney

Secretary General (IUGS)

Department of Geological Sciences,

California State University (USA)

To organizers and participants of the III International Workshop-cum-Seminar on Natural Stones and Conservation of Heritage Stones:

Congratulations. Your organization of, your contributions to, and your participation in this international meeting of the Subcommission on Heritage Stones is an important step in the growth of the IUGS Commission on Geoheritage. Furthermore, it exemplifies the best of the International Union of Geological Sciences by fostering an appreciation of heritage stones and promoting international collaborations, all by unpaid volunteers. Thank you. 

Two separate IUGS task groups – one on heritage stones, the other on geoheritage sites – were forced in 2016 to merge into a Commission on Geoheritage. The merger did not go well. The two new subcommissions remained distinct groups; the Commission did not function as a single entity.  The quality of decisions by one subcommission were questioned; the other subcommission failed to make significant progress. Acccordingly, the IUGS Executive Committee dissolved the Commission in 2020 and then established a new Commission on Geoheritage. The EC imposed a management structure and an expectation of standards and procedures that has led to the success of this important meeting of the heritage stones community and the Subcommission on Heritage Stones. Standards and procedures for IUGS recognition of Heritage Stones are now established, and the Subcommission is following them with enthusiasm and dedication. Although identifying and proposing Heritage Stones for IUGS recognition is a primary objective, the activities of the Heritage Stones Subcommission foster knowledge of and appreciation for all heritage stones whether they are deserving of global or regional recognition.

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Prof. Rumina Sethi

Dean of University Instruction,
Panjab University,
Chandigarh (India)

I am pleased to know that the III International Workshop-cum-Seminar is being held on Natural Stones and Conservation of Heritage Stones.  My warm wishes to the participants as well as to the Department of Geology, Panjab University, which is taking an active interest in the Seminar. Panjab University is wholehearted giving its full support to the success of the event taking place in India this time.The sense of the past is inherently underpinned by the historical consciousness that juxtaposes antiquity with contemporaneity in an ongoing development of art and civilization. In this context, it has to be realized that the preservation of natural stones like limestone, the Makrana marble, the Redstone, Amethyst and Jasper, etc. becomes significant in the conservation of cultural heritage. It throws light on material sciences of the past and their relevance today both culturally as well as architecturally. The association of stones like Sapphire, Chrysoprasus or Sardonyx with religion as well as with superstitions becomes an inspiring comment on the gorgeous decorations of Church or temple walls as well as on the cosmetic culture of the past.My compliments and wholehearted support to the III International Workshop-cum-Seminar on Natural Stones and Conservation of Heritage Stones.


Dr. Angela Ehling

Vice Chair,Commission on Geoheritage (ICG)

Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Berlin (Germany)

The Subcommission on Heritage stones is the only international, geoscientifically based organisation that focuses on the connection between natural rocks in their use as building stones and cultural heritage. In almost all regions of the world, stones were used early on for everyday purposes, as building stone or for art. Stones characterise a large part of our built cultural heritage.

Geoscientific research into natural building stones forms the basis for understanding their properties and their preservation. With its dedicated work, the subcommission draws attention to these connections between natural science and heritage issues.

Thanks to the dedicated work of the members of the subcommission and in cooperation with the Commission on Geoheritage, much has been achieved in recent years. This is evidenced not only by the designated Heritage Stones and the publications, but also by the workshops. Not least the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that there is no substitute for the direct exchange of expertise in the face of stone monuments in various landscapes and cultural spheres.

Therefore, a big thank you goes to the organisers of the third workshop on Heritage Stones in India!

 I am sure that the participants will get to know many stony and cultural heritage sites unknown to them and, above all, will take away new motivation for their further work.

With this in mind, I wish all the organisers and participants every success, lots of professional input and plenty of inspiration.

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Mr. Vikram Golcha


Golcha Associated Group,

Jaipur (India)

I am glad to learn that the III International Stone Workshop cum Seminar on Natural Stones and conservation of Heritage Stones is being held at Jaipur-Makrana-Agra from 1st Dec till 6th December 2023 under the aegis of IUGS-ICG-HSS and IUGS-UNESCO IGCP-637 supported by Punjab University (Chandigarh) ,International Council for Geosciences Research (a forum of the International Society for Life Sciences, Jaipur), University of Rajasthan and Centre for Stone Development (CDOS).

India has a number of heritage sites spread out over its vast area. This vast heritage repository of India is recognised globally as a significant part of its unique cultural identity.

Indian Heritage is valuable repository of socio-cultural, socio-political, socio-economical and even technological activities spanning its land mass.

I am sure that the ideas generated in this conference will go a long way in conservation of our heritage stones and preservation of our traditional knowledge and skills. 

The ensuing seminars and workshops would be excellent platforms to discuss the importance of these natural stones and the need to preserve the knowledge and skills related to stone craft. I am sure strategies and ideas will be discussed to make the traditional skills and wisdom along with unique and valuable stones available on continual basis to coming generation who can inherit this as an integral part of their legacy. This will help in preservation of our valuable architectural heritage and also ensure that traditional stones, masonry and plasters will continue to be relevant to modern architectural design.

I convey my best wishes to the organising committee, speakers and all participants for a very successful conference.



Chief Patron

Prof. Renu Vig


Panjab University, Chandigarh, India


Prof. Rumina Sethi

Dean of University Instructions,

Panjab University, Chandigarh, India


Prof. Harsh Nayyar

Director RDC,

Panjab University, Chandigarh, India


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Chair-Heritage Stone Subcommission (IUGS-ICG)


Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

Panel discussion

Topic: Heritage Stones: A way forward

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Shiv Shankar Stone
Industries, Bayana

Laxmi Associates,

H.S.Hussain Bux Fazal Ji

Mine Owners,





The Heritage Venture, Sojat

Golcha Associated,


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