The restoration of the 100-year-old Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai has won the Award of Excellence in this year's UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation, which was announced on Saturday.
The museum is a part of the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai's world heritage property. It was established as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India in 1922.
UNESCO Bangkok, in a statement, said the jury hailed it as a project that “sets a standard” for the conservation of world heritage monuments. “The jury applauded the museum project for restoring ‘a major civic institution in the historic city of Mumbai’,” it said.
“Impressive in its scale, the project addressed extensive deterioration through well-informed architectural and engineering solutions, overcoming major challenges during the pandemic,” the statement added.
Thirteen projects from six countries – Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Nepal and Thailand – have been acknowledged for awards by the jury this year.
Jury deliberations were carried out in November when members reviewed 50 entries from 11 countries from the Asia-Pacific region.
The Domakonda Fort of Telangana and Byculla Station of Mumbai are among the winners in the ‘Award of Merit’ category, while the stepwells of Golconda in Hyderabad has won an award in the ‘Award of Distinction’ category.
Topdara Stupa, Charikar, Afghanistan, and Nantian Buddhist Temple, Fujian, China, have also received the ‘Award of Merit’, the statement said.
“The awards give people a sense of pride and sense of ownership of their own heritage,” Feng Jing, the Chief of the Culture Unit at UNESCO Bangkok, was quoted as saying in the statement.
Since 2000, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation programme has been recognising the efforts of private individuals and organisations in restoring, conserving and transforming structures and buildings of heritage value in the region.