Mumbai’s Flora Fountain Receives UNESCO’s Heritage Award

Mumbai is in the light after UNESCO declares its iconic Flora Fountain for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The announcement has been made on Monday where the 155-year-old iconic Flora Fountain along with four other sites receives the Asia Pacific Award hosted by UNESCO.

The fountain was opened for the public for a display after a painstaking restoration. The ceremony was held in Penang, Malaysia, marking 20 years since its institution. The other four winners from India, include one from Ahmedabad, acquiring a Distinction for Vikram Sarabhai Library, Indian Institute of Management(IIM); and three from Mumbai- Award of Merit for Keneseth Elliyahoo Synagogue and Our Lady of Glory Church; while Honourable Mention for Flora and Fountain.

The careful restoration of the fountain completes the series of conservation intervention to revive the city’s many Victorian-era fountains, a collection of ornate civic monuments unique in India,” Bangkok-based UNESCO Asia-Pacific Tweeted after announcing the winners.

According to Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue, it said, the restoration was “undertaken with generous private sponsorship that celebrates the cultural plurality of Mumbai. The Vikram Sarabhai Library at IIM-A, whose building was designed by noted architect Louis Kahn, the UNESCO said. It holds restoration of the monumental heralds an important step forward in the preservation of 20th-century architecture in India.

Hong Kong receives the Award of Excellence, the highest amongst all the categories for its renewal of the historic Tai Kwun- Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong.

Architect Vikas Dilawari, a Mumbai based was the main consultant for the Flora and Fountain restoration project, was elated and called it a “great moment for India” as it bagged four of the 16 awards.

We hope this achievement and recognition by UNESCO will mean that both governments and people will give heritage conservation a chance. In a rapidly urbanizing India, we keep sacrificing our heritage in the name of development. But, these awards will fill every Indian with a great sense of pride and we hope they will make them more sensitive towards heritage and its protection,” he told PTI over the phone from Penang after attending the award function.

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