Monday, April 12, 2010

Why George Town listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site?

On 7th July 2008, George Town and Melaka were inscribed together as a World Heritage Site validating their outstanding ‘cultural heritage’. The built and living environment of the two ‘historic port cities on the Straits of Melaka’ reflect the unique coming together of multi-cultural elements from the Malay Archipelago, India, China and Europe to create an architectural and cultural townscape unparallelled in the world today.

The Boundary Site Map

UNESCO assessed 3 outstanding universal values (OUVs) which highlights to the world a rare example of ‘multiculturalism’, forged from the unique ‘meeting’ of various cultures at the historic ports cities of Melaka and George Town.

The built and living environment in George Town is testimony of the meeting and layering of various sub-cultures from India, China, the Malay Archipelago and Europe

a) OUV 1 – Multicultural Trading Towns forged from exchanges of Cultures Melaka and George Town represent exceptional examples of trading towns in Southeast Asia, forged from the mercantile, religious and cultural exchanges’ of several civilizations (Malay, Chinese, Indian and European), with each culture having left its imprint on the built and living environment.

(b) OUV 2 – Testimony to Multicultural Tangible and Intangible Heritage Melaka and George Town are living testimony to the multi cultural tangible and intangible heritage and tradition of Asia and Europe’s colonial power….expressed in the living environment with its great variety of religious and cultural practices, many languages, festivals, art and music, food and lifestyles

(c) OUV 3 – Melting pot of Multicultural Architecture and Townscape Melaka and George Town display a mixture of influences which has created a unique architecture, culture and townscape……. with an exceptional range of eclectic shophouses and townhouses, religious buildings of different faiths, public buildings with colonial influence.

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Penang's Shophouse