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The work on the Frere Hall started in 1863 and completed in two years. Image Credit: Supplied

Karachi: The United States has said that it will help carry out a project to beautify and restore Frere Hall, a colonial-era building of 1865 an architectural icon of Karachi.

The announcement to this effect was made as the United States Consul General in Karachi, Mark Stroh, visited the Frere Hall along with a delegation from the American Consulate General.

Mark Stroh expressed his resolve to join hands with the Sindh government and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to ensure protection of the historical places of Karachi that forms the cultural heritage of the city.

Karachi’s Administrator, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, welcomed the American diplomat. Mark Stroh took keen interest in the library and Sadequain Art Gallery housed in the Frere Hall building.

Famous historian Dr Kaleemullah Lashari, who serves to preserve sites of cultural heritage in Sindh, briefed the visiting delegation about the historical importance of Frere Hall.

Dr Lashari told the delegation that work on the Frere Hall started in 1863 and completed in two years.

The building was initially used as the town hall and library. Later on, an art gallery was established to showcase paintings and calligraphic work. The building was named after Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere in recognition of his services for Karachi and Sindh during the colonial era. Frere served as Governor of Bombay from 1862 to 1867.

At the time of creation of Pakistan, 70,000 books were present in the Frere Hall library.

The American Consul General appreciated the services being rendered by the Karachi’s municipality to preserve the Frere Hall building.