Conservation of cultural identity

Conservation of cultural identity

Laudable effort

The importance of cultural preservation is being undertaken at multiple layers and strict observation across the world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) instituted UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2000 to recognise the efforts of private individuals and organisations that have successfully restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region.

This year, Kerala’s Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple has received the prestigious Award of Excellence and Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang won the Award of Merit and became the first project in Lao PDR to receive this award.

“The jury was very pleased with this year’s submissions, which included fascinating projects from across Asia‐Pacific. This reflects a continuing trend over the years where we are seeing a broader diversity of typologies being submitted to the awards coming from a wider geographical spread,” Tim Curtis, chair of the jury and chief of UNESCO Bangkok’s culture unit, said in a statement.

A total of 12 winning projects from five countries  – India, China, Laos, Australia and Thailand – have been recognised in this year’s Heritage Awards. A panel of international conservation experts met in June to review 36 entries from across the Asia‐Pacific region.
According to the statement, the conservation of the temple in Thrissur recognises the remarkable conservation effort undertaken at the sacred site which employed age‐old rituals and conservation techniques drawn from vastu shastra, an Indian traditional science focusing on architecture and construction.

“The tangible attributes of the temple are inextricably linked with its intangible heritage which dates back generations, thus ensuring that spirit of place resonates throughout the site,” it added.

Vadakkunnathan is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and has a classic architectural style indigenous to Kerala’s landscape.

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