News & events > UNESCO Awards on Cultural Heritage Conservation 2016: Winners Announced

UNESCO Awards on Cultural Heritage Conservation 2016: Winners Announced

UNESCO Awards Heritage Conservation Winners 2016 Every year, the UNESCO Office in Bangkok organises the Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The Awards recognize the efforts of private individuals and organisations that have successfully restored or conserved structures, places and properties of heritage value in the region. The Awards emphasise the importance of the conservation process, including the technical achievements and quality of the restoration, as well as the social impact, including community involvement in the project. Winners of the 2016 Awards were made public in Bangkok in early September. A total of 13 winning projects from six countriesAustralia, China, India, Iran, Japan and Pakistan – have been recognised. A panel of international conservation experts met in Bangkok to review the 40 Heritage Awards entries, including 34 in the Conservation category and six for New Design. Duong Bich Hanh, Chair of the Jury and Chief of UNESCO Bangkok’s Culture Unit, said she was pleased to see the Heritage Awards encourage good conservation practices in the region. “Jury members were delighted with the quality of this year’s entries to the Heritage Awards,” Ms. Hanh said. “This showed increased knowledge and higher standards in conservation work across Asia-Pacific”.

Award of Excellence

The Restoration of the Sanro-Den Hall at Sukunahikona Shrine in Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture, has received the Award of Excellence in this year’s UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. This prayer hall was seen as an exceptional example of community stewardship enlisted in the conservation of a heritage site of unique architectural and cultural value. The project epitomises the efficacy of grass-roots advocacy, coupled with traditional building practices, in extending the life of distinctive 20th-century Kakezukuri structure, successfully returning it to a central place in the cultural life of the local community.

Other awardees

Awards of Distinction were given to the following two projects:
  • Conservation and Restoration of Taoping Qiang Village, Sichuan Province, China
  • Conservation of St Olav’s Church, West Bengal, India
Three projects obtained an Award of Merit, as follows:
  • Repairs and Restoration to the Cama Building, Mumbai Central, Mumbai, India
  • Restoration of Fortification of Walls & Bastions of Mahidpur Fort, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Conservation of the 17th-century Shahi Hammam, Lahore, Pakistan
Honourable Mentions were granted to six projects:
  • Renovation Project of Wu Changshuo Residence Archaeological Site, Zhejiang Province, China
  • Fudewan Miners Village of Wenzhou Alunite Mine in China, Zhejiang Province, China
  • The World Bank loan Cultural and Natural Heritage Protection and Development Project, Liu Ancestral Hall Preservation and Renovation Project of Sanmentang Village, Tianzhu County, Guizhou province, China
  • Revitalisation of the Old Tai Po Police Station into a Green Hub for Sustainable Living, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • Restoration of the Main Building, The Doon School, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
  • Darugheh House, Mashad, Khorasan Razavi, Iran
Finally, the New Design in Heritage Context Award was given to:
  • The Brewery Yard, Central Park, Chippendale, Award
Jury members also agreed to revise the regulations regarding how old a site must be to be eligible for the awards, reflecting a growing awareness in the conservation field of the importance of recognising cultural heritage that is less than 50 years old, which is in growing danger. The revised regulations will be available via the UNESCO Bangkok website at the end of this year, and will be applied to entries submitted for next year’s awards. The Call for Entries for the 2017 Awards shall be made at the end of 2016, and further details will be available on the Awards website. For additional information about the 2016 winners, please visit http://www.unescobkk.org/news/article/restoration-of-prayer-hall-at-japan-shrine-wins-top-honor-in-unesco-asia-pacific-heritage-awards/