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2022 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation: Announcement of Winners

2022 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation: Announcement of Winners

BANGKOK, 26 Nov 2022 – The heroic restoration of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, which is part the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai World Heritage property in India, has received the Award of Excellence in this year’s UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. 

13 projects from 6 countries – Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Nepal and Thailand – have been acknowledged for awards by an international jury in this year’s Awards programme. Jury deliberations were carried out in November 2022, when members reviewed a total of 50 entries from 11 countries from across the Asia-Pacific region.

The complete list of 2022 awarded projects comprises: 

Award of Excellence
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum, Mumbai, India 

Award of Distinction 
Stepwells of Golconda, Hyderabad, India
Zarch Qanat, Yazd, Iran 
Neilson Hays Library, Bangkok, Thailand 

Award of Merit
Topdara Stupa, Charikar, Afghanistan 
Nantian Buddhist Temple, Fujian, China 
Domakonda Fort, Telangana, India 
Byculla Station, Mumbai, India 
Sadoughi House, Yazd, Iran 
25 Chivas in Kathmandu, Nepal 

Special Recognition for Sustainable Development
West Guizhou Lilong Neighborhood, Shanghai, China 

Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts
M30 Integrated Infrastructure for Power Supply and Waste Collection, Macao SAR, China
Xiaoxihu Block, Nanjing, China

‘The Awards are able to give people a sense of pride and sense of ownership of their own heritage’, said Mr Feng Jing, Chief of Culture Unit at UNESCO Bangkok. ‘It is encouraging to see the increased number of entries received this year, given that we are still in recovery period from the global COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s submissions have once again brought up interesting discussions regarding the trends in cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific region. We are seeing a greater attention to cultural landscapes including heritage infrastructure systems that are very compatible with a sustainable development approach to our cities and rural areas.’

The jury applauded the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum project for restoring ‘a major civic institution in the historic city of Mumbai’. The jury noted, ‘Impressive in its scale, the project addressed extensive deterioration through well-informed architectural and engineering solutions, overcoming major challenges during the pandemic.’ The jury further remarked, ‘Executed to the highest level of technical excellence, the project sets a standard for the conservation of World Heritage monuments in India and beyond.’

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation is supported by a partnership between UNESCO and Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation since 2021. Under this strategic partnership, NTFCF is supporting five Awards cycles (2021–2025) and an accompanying series of specially tailored capacity-building activities amplifying the regional impact of the Awards programme.

Under this partnership, the 2022 Award winners are being publicized through the international symposium, The Next Fifty Years: Challenges and Opportunities for World Heritage (26–27 November 2022), which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. 

The international symposium was organized in collaboration with the Asian Academy for Heritage Management Secretariat at Southeast University and the Beijing Cultural Relics Protection Association, with generous support provided by the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation.

UNESCO introduced the new category, ‘Special Recognition for Sustainable Development’, in 2020, together with an updated set of Awards Criteria to acknowledge the role and contribution of cultural heritage to sustainable development within the broader framework of the UN 2030 Agenda. 

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 heritage value in the region. By acknowledging private efforts to restore and adapt historic properties, the Awards encourage others to undertake conservation projects within their own communities, either independently or through public-private partnerships (PPPs). 

Awarded projects, to date, demonstrate various conservation criteria, such as the articulation of the spirit of place, technical achievement, appropriate use or adaptation, the project’s engagement with the local community, and the project’s contribution to enhancing the sustainability of the surrounding environment and beyond.

For further information about the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation and upcoming related events: https://bangkok.unesco.org/theme/asia-pacific-heritage-awards

The Call for Entries for the 2023 UNESCO Awards cycle will be announced in early 2023; further details will be available on the UNESCO Bangkok website pages.

Photo Albums:
High-resolution images of 2022 Award recipients are available here: 2022 winners photos

Winners Profiles:
Profiles of 2022 Awards recipients are available here: 2022 winners profiles

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