Munbai’s Flora Fountain among two other heritage landmarks has been chosen from India for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The awards were announced at a ceremony held in Penang, Malaysia, marking 20 years since its institution.
Built in 1864 the iconic Mumbai fountain, commemorates the martyrdom of brave people who laid their lives in the turbulent birth of Maharashtra state. Apart from the Flora Fountain, Mumbai has also been awarded merit for the Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue – built in 1884 the orthodox Jewish synagogue represents Jewish traditions as well as Indian and English colonial influences – and our Lady of Glory Church. Established in 1726, is dedicated to Our Lady of Health.
The fourth – Award for Distinction was given to Ahmedabad’s Vikram Sarabhai Library located in Indian Institute of Management (IIM); set up in 1962, the library is said to be built by noted architect Loius Kahn.
India Wins Four UNESCO Heritage Awards
Sixteen projects from five countries – Australia, Bhutan, China, India and New Zealand – have all been recognized by the international jury of conservation experts in this years; awards. The awards have been merited to those projects the jury felt that preserved the heritage of the participating countries best.
Vikas Dilawari, a Mumbai based architect, who was one of the main consultants for the Flora Fountain restoration project said that “ it is a great moment for India, we hope this achievement and recognition by UNESCO will mean that both governments and people will give heritage conservation a chance. In a rapidly urbanising India, we keep sacrificing our heritage in the name of development. With India bagging 4 out of the 16 awards, Vikas hopes that this brings about a sense of pride and restores sensitivity towards heritage sites and its protection.
UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards began in 2000. The purpose of the awards is to motivate the protection of Cultural Heritage sites, which are initiated by an individual organisation under private sector or institutional organisation.