Mumbai, Dec 6 (UNI) Mumbai University was awarded the prestigious UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Conservation Award of Distinction for its Rs 1.70 crore restoration of Sir Cowasjee Jehangier Convocation Hall at a ceremony here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Richard Englehardt, Regional Advisor for Culture, UNESCO Asia-Pacific said,'' The building and work fulfills all the criteria laid down by judges. Conservation is not a western concept, it is a universal concern of everyone.'' '' It demonstrates our concern and justifies our stand to go ahead with the ambitious project and sends a message about the wealth we have inherited and the need to preserve it,'' said Vice- Chancellor, Dr Vijay Khole.
The restoration work for Sir Cowasjee Jehangier Hall, popularly known as the Convocation Hall, was led by architect Abha Narain Lambah and was completed within ten months. The project consisted of reusing original materials, hiring artists from Jaipur, restoring the lighting and acoustic systems and preserving the essence of the building.
The UNESCO award was established in 2000 with an objective of 'bringing the best of the past'. The main criteria for awarding the Heritage Conservation award are the understanding of the place by the restorers in terms of its spirit, value and significance, technical acheivement used in the restoration and conservation and its socio- economic viability.
Mumbai also has the distinction of winning the award seven times.