Photo: Khaplu Palace, renovated by AKCSP
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: UNESCO has called for entries for its Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
“Submissions are now being accepted for the 2015 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation,” stated a press release issued from Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok on Wednesday.
The deadline for receipt of materials is 31 March 2015, it added.
The Awards recognize the efforts of private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored or conserved structures, places and properties of heritage value in the region.
Over the years, Gilgit – Baltistan has won awards for its cultural heritage, thanks mainly to efforts from Aga Khan cultural service – an organization of Aga Khan Development Network.
In 2013, Khaplu Palace in Baltistan received Award of Distinction in the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for cultural heritage conservation.
The palace, built in the 1840s by Yabgo Raja of Khaplu, is now known as Khaplu Palace and Residence and is managed by Serena Hotels. It also won commendations in Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards’ ‘best for poverty reduction’ category in November 2012.
The Awards emphasize the importance of the conservation process, including the technical achievements and quality of the restoration, as well as the social impact, including community involvement in the project.
Since the Awards were established in 2000, UNESCO has received 562 entries from 24 countries. A total of 174 projects have received Awards for high achievement in conservation, while 9 have received the Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts (previously known as the Jury Commendation for Innovation).
According to the press release sent to Outpost, projects involving heritage properties more than fifty years old which were completed within the last ten years are eligible for consideration in the conservation category. Houses, commercial and institutional buildings, historic towns and villages, archaeological heritage sites and cultural landscapes, for example, are all suitable for entry.