Indonesian Eastern Village Mbaru Niang Gets Top UNESCO Award

Mbaru Niang, a village of traditional houses on Flores Island in eastern Indonesia, has been honoured with the Award of Excellence in the 2012 Unesco AsiaPacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Two Awards of Distinction were the Sethna Buildings in Mumbai, India and the Water Systems in Hampi, India. Three Awards of Merit include the Zhizhusi Complex in Beijing, China; the Chandramauleshwat Temple in Hampi, India; and Khilingrong Mosque in Shigar, Pakistan. Two Honourable Mentions were also announced. They include the William Street Precinct in Perth, Western Australia and Jaisalmer Fort in Rajasthan, India.

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Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards

Mbaru Niang
Top award was given to Mbaru Niang in Indonesia for the 2012 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards.The Award of Excellence given to Mbaru Niang represents a new kind of recognition for architectural conservation, whereby intangible heritage and traditional knowledge form the basis of the conservation method. A total of 43 entries from 11 countries in the region were submitted for consideration. Eligible projects must be more than 50 years old, with restoration completed in the past 10 years, and the buildings in viable use for at least one year before the awards were announced. "The diversity of project types entered was encouraging, covering a broad spectrum of conservation issues, from urban streetscapes, military property to archaeological sites," said Tim Curtis, Chair of the Jury and Chief of the Culture Unit at Unesco in Bangkok.

Mbaru Niang Village

The 2012 Jury Commendation for Innovation was awarded to the Reading Room of the Portuguese School of Macau in Macao (SAR) China. The Jury Commendation recognises new structures that demonstrate outstanding standards for contemporary architectural design, which are integrated well into historic contexts.

The Unesco AsiaPacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation recognises the efforts of individuals and organisations that have restored and conserved heritage buildings, in the hope it will encourage other property owners to undertake conservation projects within the community.

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