United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has on July 17 listed all the three nominations by India among the World Heritage Sites in the 40th session of The World Heritage Committee meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Le Corbusier’s architectural creation Capitol Complex, Chandigarh along with Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga National Park which is home to the World’s third highest peak and the Nalanda University in Bihar has obtained the elite tag.
Anurag Aggarwal, home secretary, UT administration, said, “It will boost tourism in Chandigarh. I have called a meeting for working out a strategy to encash on this development to attract international tourists to the city.”
“The UNESCO team will frequently review the site and if we fail to maintain its upkeep, they can delete it from the heritage status list. For the upkeep, we will not get any funds,” he added.
The Union culture ministry has said that this is the first time that any country getting three sites inscribed in the Word Heritage List at a single session of the committee meeting.
Among all the creations of Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier, the Capitol Complex has been placed in the ‘modern heritage site’ category and is a part of the group of 17 sites across seven different countries - France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Japan and India, which is included in the list by the Paris-based body.
UNESCO said that these sites, built over a half-century, in the course of what Le Corbusier described as “patient research”, reflect “the solutions that the modern architectural movement sought to apply during the 20th century to the challenges of inventing new architectural techniques to respond to the needs of society”. Further, the statement added, “These masterpieces of creative genius also attest to the internationalization of architectural practice across the planet.”
First Indian chief architect of Chandigarh MN Sharma, who worked closely with Le Corbusier on building the city, in a statement, said “It’s a moment of great joy. Finally, Le Corbusier has been awarded what he deserved. Chandigarh should have been included in the heritage list along with Brasilia way back in 1987.”