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2021 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation: Announcement of Winners

2021 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation: Announcement of Winners

BANGKOK, 1 December 2021 – The holistic urban revitalization of the historic Nizamuddin Basti community in New Delhi, India has received the Award of Excellence in this year’s UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The project also garnered a Special Recognition for Sustainable Development.   

Nine projects from six countries – Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand – have been honored by a Jury of heritage experts. Jurors met online in November to review a total of 39 entries from 12 countries across the Asia-Pacific.

The complete list of 2021 awarded projects comprises:

Award of Excellence
Nizamuddin Basti, New Delhi, India

Award of Distinction
Jingdezhen Pengjia Alley Compound, Jiangxi, China 
Kesennuma Historic Citiscape, Miyagi, Japan

Award of Merit
Doleshwar Hanafia Jame Mosque, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Thai Pak Koong (Ng Suk) Temple, Penang, Malaysia
Baan Khun Phithak Raya, Pattani, Thailand

New Design in Heritage Contexts
Shajing Ancient Fair, Shenzhen, China
Songyang Culture Neighborhood, Zhejiang, China

Special Recognition for Sustainable Development
Shajing Ancient Fair, Shenzhen, China
Nizamuddin Basti, New Delhi, India
Kesennuma Historic Citiscape, Miyagi, Japan
Mrigadayavan Palace Woodshop, Phetchaburi, Thailand

Ms Duong Bich Hanh, Chief of Culture Unit at UNESCO Bangkok, remarked, “The diversity of heritage typologies and countries where the winning projects come from are truly remarkable. The number of projects that have successfully addressed various aspects of the sustainable development agenda is also commendable.”

The Jury applauded the Nizamuddin Basti project for its “outstanding achievement in placing heritage at the heart of the sustainable development agenda” and noted that “through an innovative People-Public-Private Partnership model, the project overcame major socio-economic challenges and improved health, education and well-being, particularly for women and youth”. The Jury further commented, “It is notable that the development initiatives preceded the conservation efforts, which encompassed the meticulous restoration of over 20 historic monuments clustered around the 14th-century mausoleum of the revered Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. From conserving monuments to reviving local crafts, to improving the urban environment and creating new jobs, the project has brought about the revitalization of the living historic urban landscape in its truest sense.”

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation is supported by the newly established partnership between UNESCO and the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation (NTFCF). NTFCF is supporting five Awards cycles from 2021 to 2025, along with a series of specially tailored capacity-building activities amplifying the impact of the Awards programme, especially for youth.

Under the partnership, UNESCO is launching the Sustainable Heritage Management Masterclass series and the Asia-Pacific Heritage Apprentice Programme. The inaugural Masterclass is now open for application and will focus on the success story of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Penang, Malaysia) which won the 2000 Most Excellent Project. The Apprenticeship Programme will match leading heritage practitioners, notably from Award-winning projects, with young professionals to conduct projects.

Since 2000, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation programme has been recognizing the efforts of private individuals and organizations in restoring, conserving, and transforming structures and buildings of distinct heritage value in the region. By acknowledging private efforts to restore and adapt historic properties, the Awards encourage other property owners to undertake conservation projects within their communities, either independently or through public-private partnerships.

In 2020, UNESCO introduced the Special Recognition for Sustainable Development and an updated set of Awards criteria to highlight the contribution of cultural heritage to sustainable development within the broader framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Awarded projects demonstrate sound technical achievement, appropriate use or adaptation, engagement with the local community, and contributions to enhancing the environmental sustainability and resilience of the heritage place.

For further information about the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation and upcoming events:

https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/asia-pacific-heritage-awards

The Call for Entries for the 2022 UNESCO Awards cycle will be announced in early 2022; further details will be available on the Awards website.

2021 Winners Citations

Photo Albums:


For Awards-related inquiries:

Heritage Awards
Culture Unit
UNESCO Bangkok
Tel.: (66 2) 391-5077 Ext. 511
Fax.: (66 2) 391-0866
Email: heritageawards@unesco.org

Media contact:               
Gregory Gallian
Editor and Media Officer
UNESCO Bangkok
Email: g.galligan@unesco.org