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India Wins Four UNESCO Heritage Awards

Mumbai’s iconic 155-year-old Flora Fountain and two other heritage landmarks in the country’s financial capital are among the four sites that have been chosen from India for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation announced on Monday.

The fountain, a veritable symbol of Mumbai was opened to the public early this year after painstaking restoration.

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation awards were announced at a ceremony held in Penang, Malaysia, marking 20 years since its institution.

The four winners from India, include one from Ahmedabad—Award of Distinction for Vikram Sarabhai Library, Indian Institute of Management (IIM); and three from Mumbai—Award of Merit for Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue and Our Lady of Glory Church; while Honourable Mention for Flora Fountain.

“The careful restoration of the fountain completes the series of conservation interventions to revive the city’s many Victorian-era fountains, a collection of ornate civic monuments unique in India,” Bangkok-based UNESCO Asia-Pacific tweeted after announcing the winners.

For Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, it said, the restoration was “undertaken with generous private sponsorship” that “celebrates the cultural plurality of Mumbai”.

While announcing the Award of Distinction for Vikram Sarabhai Library at IIM-A, whose building was designed by noted architect Louis Kahn, the UNESCO said, “the restoration of the monumental heralds an important step forward in the preservation of 20th century architecture in India (sic)”.

The renewal of the historic Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong received the Award of Excellence, the highest award among all categories.

“Sixteen projects from five countries – Australia, Bhutan, China, India and New Zealand – have been recognized by the international Jury of conservation experts in this year’s Awards. The jury met in August to review 57 entries from 14 countries across the Asia-Pacific region,” UNESCO Asia-Pacific said in a statement.


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