South Mumbai's Art Deco and Victorian now have a UNESCO World Heritage tag

The project is the culmination of city architect Abha Narain Lambah's efforts over the last 14 years

June 30, 2018 04:52 pm | Updated December 01, 2021 05:54 am IST

The Victoria Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble

The Victoria Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble

The Elephanta Caves and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) now have companions on the UNSECO World Heritage Site List. As of June 30, Mumbai’s Victoria Gothic and Art Deco ensemble was given the greenlight by ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments & Sites), an advisory body to UNESCO.

The buildings around the Fort, Churchgate and Marine Drive area are included in the Heritage Site tag, with notable structures such as the Bombay High Court, Elphinstone College, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) being considered among the collection of Victorian, Neo-Classical and Indo-Saracenic architecture.

Residential buildings along Oval Maidan, around the Cricket Club of India and the first row of buildings along Marine Drive are part of the Art Deco buildings, as well as Regal and Eros Cinemas.

This file photo taken on November 8, 2017 shows vehicles passing by an Art Deco building on Marine Drive in Mumbai. AFP

This file photo taken on November 8, 2017 shows vehicles passing by an Art Deco building on Marine Drive in Mumbai. AFP


The Victorian buildings are amongst the finest and most cohesive group of 19th century Victorian Gothic in the world, and the Art Deco of the 20th century is the second largest and homogenous collections in the world.

The Nomination Dossier presented to UNESCO was prepared by Abha Narain Lambah, who has been working on this project for 14 years.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis endorsed the nomination, and wrote, “Mumbai’s tourism and culture would be hugely benefitted if this nomination succeeds. Being the financial capital of our country, it would [now] have the unique distinction of being both a financial capital and a world heritage site”.

The Art Deco and Victorian buildings are India’s 37th heritage site, Maharashtra’s fifth, and Mumbai’s third.

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