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Exhibition to showcase Hong Kong's heritage conservation achievements (with photos)

An exhibition was launched at the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre (HDC) today (November 21) to showcase the 12 winning heritage conservations in Hong Kong which have won the Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage of the United Nationals Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) over the past years.

The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, officiated at a ceremony this afternoon to open the "Heritage Alive: UNESCO Culture Heritage Awards" Exhibition cum Symposium on the Revitalisation of Urban Heritage Buildings and Sites: Private Sector Experience in Three Cities (Hong Kong, Toronto and Vancouver) at the Heritage Discovery Centre.

Also officiating were the Head of Culture Unit of the UNESCO Bangkok Office, Dr Timothy Curtis, and Dean of Faculty of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong, Professor Ralph Lerner.

Mrs Lam noted that a total of 128 projects had received the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards since its establishment in 2000, among which 12 projects were from Hong Kong, representing 9.4% of all the awards.

"We have a great diversity and variety of projects winning the awards. It is this rich diversity of Hong Kong that makes us so different as a distinct World City," Mrs Lam said.

The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation were established in 2000 to honour and encourage private efforts and public-private initiatives in successfully restoring structures of heritage value in the region. The winning projects have set technical and social benchmarks for conservation in the region and serve as catalysts for local preservation activity, inspiring other homeowners to take action to save their historic buildings.

Since the establishment of the Heritage Awards in 2000, 12 conservation projects in Hong Kong, including both government projects and projects initiated and conducted by non-Government organisations, have received the awards. These projects are:

* Hung Shing Old Temple - Outstanding Project, 2000
* Ohel Leah Synagogue - Outstanding Project, 2000
* King Law Ka Shuk - Award of Merit, 2001
* Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - Honourable Mention, 2003
* St. Joseph's Chapel - Award of Merit, 2005
* Tung Wah Coffin Home - Award of Merit, 2005
* St Andrew's Church - Award of Merit, 2006
* Liu Ying Lung Study Hall - Honourable Mention, 2006
* Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre (former Whitfield Barracks) - Jury Commendation for Innovation, 2007
* Little Hong Kong - former Central Ordnance Munitions Depot) (Award of Merit, 2007
* Bthanie (Heritage Campus of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts) - Honourable Mention, 2008
* Academy of Visual Arts of the Hong Kong Baptist University (former Royal Air Force Officers' Mess) - Honourable Mention, 2009

The exhibition, to be open to the public at the Thematic Exhibition Gallery of HDC from November 22, 2009 to February 17, 2010, will introduce the UNESCO Heritage Awards and showcase the 12 winning projects of Hong Kong, and share these conservation success stories with the general public for enhancing their awareness of heritage preservation.

Conservation professionals from Hong Kong, Toronto and Vancouver also gathered in the Symposium on the Revitalisation of Urban Heritage Buildings and Sites: Private Sector Experience in Three Cities (Hong Kong, Toronto and Vancouver) today to exchange practical experience on heritage conservation.

Using case studies, the symposium addressed issues and means of facilitating the private sector to be involved in conserving and revitalising heritage buildings and sites in the urban context.

The exhibition and symposium are jointly organised by the Commissioner for Heritage's Office, the UNESCO Bangkok Office, the Antiquities and Monuments Office and the Architectural Conservation Programme of Faculty of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong.

Ends/Saturday, November 21, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:11

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The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of 'Heritage Alive: UNESCO Culture Heritage Awards' Exhibition cum Symposium on the Revitalisation of Urban Heritage Buildings and Sites: Private Sector Experience in Three Cities (Hong Kong, Toronto and Vancouver) today (November 21). Mrs Carrie Lam, views a model of Bethanie in the 'Heritage Alive: UNESCO Culture Heritage Awards' Exhibition. Accompanying Mrs Lam is the Commissioner for Heritage, Mr Jack Chan.

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