‘Award of Merit’ at UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation of Gloria Church
The Restoration Project of Our Lady of Glory (Gloria Church), Byculla, Archdiocese of Bombay, was conferred the ‘Award of Merit’ by the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation, at a ceremony in Penang, Malaysia on October 14, 2019. Ainsley Lewis, Architect for the Project, received the award on behalf of the Archdiocese of Bombay.
This UNESCO programme recognizes the efforts of private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region. 57 entries were received from 14 countries across the Asia-Pacific region. Of these, 16 projects from 5 countries – Australia, Bhutan, China, India and New Zealand – have been recognized by the international Jury of conservation experts in this year’s Awards.
The exemplary restoration project, undertaken by the Clergy of the Archdiocese and the Heritage Committee, has been highly commended – “Our Lady of Glory Church has been lovingly restored to its original splendour. The project demonstrates state-of-the-art conservation practice… praiseworthy effort to retain historic fabric…thorough investigation and documentation invaluable for future reference…the Church now stands proudly as a neighbourhood landmark”.
The words of Dr Duong Bich Hanh, Chair of the Jury and Chief of UNESCO Bangkok’s Culture Unit, are the best accolade of all: “We are also pleased to note how this year’s projects have continued and, in many cases, renewed their roles to meet local needs and contributed to the sustainability of the community.”
For the Archdiocese of Bombay, Gloria Church most certainly meets this definition; it is indeed a wonderful meeting place for the community to worship.