UNESCO launches measures to save Chettinad's architectural remains

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (UNI) The conservation and management of the famed architectural heritage of the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu will be the core concern in a special seminar initiated by the 'Revive Chettinad Campaign' under the aegis of the UNESCO.

Anna University, Chennai and the French School for Conservation, Ecole de Chaillot, Paris will collaborate with UNESCO in holding the seminar at the Anna University from January 21 to 23.

The seminar, entitled 'Planning and Management of Built Heritage in Chettinad', will bring together administrators and technical staff, planners, architects and other professionals active in the fields of planning, protection, conservation and management of built heritage in India.

Ms Nicole Bolomey, Programme Specialist for Culture at the UNESCO office here, said, ''Chettinad's architectural heritage is unique, with beautiful homes built in the 19th century which are now under threat of being destroyed for ever. The UNESCO-led 'Revive Chettinad Campaign' with the support of the Chettiar Community, the Tamil Nadu and the government of France, as well as the active involvement of French NGO Architectural Heritage-Safeguard (ArcHe-S) and Anna University, has initiated many activities to put into practice the safeguard of this important heritage.'' The seminar represents a new step in international collaboration for the preservation of cultural heritage in India. Since September 2006, UNESCO's 'Network of Indian Cities of Living Heritage' has been bringing together national and international experts to support the cities of India in their planning and management efforts for the conservation and heritage-based development of their urban and rural centres.

The seminar in Chennai is organised jointly by Anna University and the Ecole de Chaillot with the support of UNESCO, the Tamil Nadu Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France and ArcHe-S.

The seminar will gather experts on Tamil Nadu's vernacular architecture, the heritage and culture of the Chettinad region, and planners and conservationists from India and France to share research, ideas and good practice.

It will be followed by a 10-day international student workshop in Chettinad to survey and develop planning ideas for two central, well preserved villages. The seminar is open to any other people interested in the safeguarding of the Chettinad region and its valuable heritage.


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