By VIENTIANE TIMES
ASIA NEWS NE
A Luang Prabang temple is recognised with a Unesco Award of Merit
Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang province has won an Award of Merit, one of 12 announced last week under the 2015 Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage Award scheme.
According to the official announcement published on www.UnescoBKK.org on September 1, 12 winning projects in five countries, – India, China, Laos, Australia and Thailand – have been recognised in this year’s Heritage Awards.
A panel of international conservation experts met in June to review 36 entries from across the Asia-Pacific region.
The Cangdong Heritage Education Centre, Kaiping City, Guangdong province, and Pingyao Courtyard House, Shanxi province in China as well as Baan Luang Rajamaitri, Muang district, Chantaburi province in Thailand, also received the Award of Merit.
Conservation of the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple in Kerala, India, received the Award of Excellence in this year’s Unesco Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
The Award of Merit for the conservation of the exceptionally ornate Xieng Thong Temple has safeguarded the jewel of Luang Prabang architecture and Laos’ most significant landmark.
Undertaken within the framework of technical standards set by the Luang Prabang Department of World Heritage, the project is to be commended for its systematic conservation planning and execution.
The involvement of trained monk artisans in producing the traditional decorative works represents a noteworthy revival of an age-old practice of sustaining Buddhist temples.
The major initiative has arrested the temple complex’s slow physical decay and reversed previous inappropriate conservation efforts, improving the condition of both the ritual buildings and the monks’ quarters.
By combining grassroots efforts with donor support, the project epitomises the spirit of World Heritage in promoting international cooperation for protecting the world’s most iconic heritage places.
The Unesco Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation programme recognises the efforts |of private individuals and organisations that have successfully |restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region. Earlier this year, the Luang Prabang World Heritage Site scooped “Best City” in the Wanderlust Travel Awards 2015, with Bagan in Myanmar taking second place and Stockholm in Sweden coming in third.