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UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation have been established to recognize the achievement of individuals and organizations within the private sector, and the public-private initiatives, in successfully restoring structures of heritage value in the region.

This project advances UNESCO’s global strategic objective of “promoting the drafting and implementation of standard setting instruments in the field of culture”. Within this global framework, it builds on the regional pillar of “localization and empowerment of the culture profession to develop and implement standards”.

UNESCO's mandate is to promote the stewardship of the world's cultural resources, including the built heritage which constitutes our collective cultural memory, and the foundation upon which communities can construct their future.  In Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO supports  conservation activists at all levels, and particularly seeks to encourage the role of the private sector in preserving the region's cultural heritage.

Since 2000, UNESCO has received 359 entries from 23 territories, spanning a wide range of conservation projects from private residences to palace complexes. Many of the entries have set technical and social benchmarks for conservation in the region, while acting as catalysts for local preservation activity.  Over the years, the projects illustrate the increasing momentum and level of conservation in Asia and the Pacific.

In 2005, UNESCO launched the Heritage Awards Jury Commendation for Innovation.  The Jury Commendation recognizes newly-built structures which demonstrate outstanding standards for contemporary architectural design which are well integrated into historic contexts.


Winners Announced for the 2010 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards

Hong San See Temple, Singapore, has been honoured with the Award of Excellence in the 2010 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

A total of 33 entries, from 14 countries in the region, were submitted for consideration. The conservation project entries include museums, hotels, cultural institutions, educational institutions, religious sites, industrial sites, public institutions, residential buildings, urban districts and islands.

Revived an important icon of Minnan temple architecture of the late Qing dynasty which is a living heritage landmark for the Lam Ann settlers and the Singapore community as a whole. The project’s rigorous conservation methodology has ensured that the authentic structure and fabric of the building are well-preserved. The community-based approach to restoration at Hong San See Temple stands to have a major impact in shifting the paradigm of conservation policy and practice in Singapore and around the region.

The two Awards of Distinction went to the Red Brick Warehouses in Yokohama, Japan and Gulabpur Khanqah in Skardu, Pakistan.

The three Awards of Merit include the Fu’long Taoist Temple in Sichuan, China; the Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad, India and the Old Houses in the World Heritage Fort of Galle in Sri Lanka.

Three Honourable Mentions were also announced. They are the Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute in Ballarat, Australia; North Xinjiao Street in Zhejiang, China and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum) in Mumbai, India.

No projects were selected for the 2010 Jury Commendation for Innovation. The Jury Commendation aims to recognize newly-built structures which demonstrate outstanding standards for contemporary architectural design which are well integrated into historic contexts. The 2010 Jury Commendation submissions include three projects (an educational institution, a city complex and a museum) from two countries in the region.

For the press release about the 2010 UNESCO Heritage Awards winners, please click here.

Thai Prime Minister accepts 2009 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award on behalf of Suphanburi community
11 December 2009 

UNESCO Bangkok recognizes the outstanding restoration of the Samchuk Community and Old Market District in Suphanburi with the presentation of an award to Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on 11 December 2009 in the Old Market District.

The conservation of this significant heritage community receives an Award of Merit in the 2009 annual UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards.

Dr. Molly Lee, Director a.i. of UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, presents an award plaque to Mr. Abhisit.  Certificates of Recognition are also presented to project team members, including academics, scholars, students and the Samchuk Community Commmittee.


Heritage Awards Thai winners featured at ASA exhibit
29 June 2009

The Association of Siamese Architects Under Royal Patronage (ASA) organized an exhibition “Old and New” on conservation of historic architecture and places, and new buildings in the old settlement held from 23 June - 24 July 2009 at ASA Centre, 5th Floor of Siam Discovery, Bangkok.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition and seminar "Edible Conservation" on 28 June 2009 featured Heritage Awards Thai winners where the discussion led to broader knowledge for a wider audience about conservation and how conservation can be related to our daily life.


The Getty Conservation Institute Presents a Conservation Matters Lecture: "Conservation of the Ahichhatragarh-NagaurFort in India," 2002 Heritage Awards Winner.

The Getty Conservation Institute organized a Conservation Matters lecture, "Conservation of the Ahichhatragarh-Nagaur Fort in India," on Thursday19 March 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Minakshi Jain, architect and director for the conservation of the Ahichhatragarh-Nagaur Fort in northwest India, winner of the Award of Excellence for 2002 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation, has explained how the previously dilapidated fort became a model for the conservation of historic sites. 

For more information about the Getty Conservation Institute, click here.

Sites worth saving
8 February 2009

The Crown Property Bureau paves the way and sets the standard for restoring buildings with historic value.

Next to the Bang Pakong river in Chachoengsao province is the former Prachin Buri precinct governor's office. Last year, the restoration of this English-style neo-classical single-storey building received an honourable mention at the annual UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards. And for very good reason.


Asia Conserved

UNESCO Bangkok has published Asia Conserved: Lessons Learned from the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation 2000-2004

The book has been made possible with the support of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, with contributions from UNESCO Beijing, UNESCO Islamabad, UNESCO Jakarta and UNESCO Phnom Penh.

For more information about the book, please click here.