United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) 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 home to the World’s third highest peak and the Nalanda University in Bihar obtained the elite tag.
The Union culture ministry said that this was the first time that any country has got 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 group of 17 sites across seven different countries- France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Japan and India, included in the list by the Paris-based body. Also, it is called as the “crown of his creation”.
In a statement, 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.”
The heritage list now has 1,052 sites in 165 countries, including the newly added 21 sites, in which there are 12 cultural sites, six natural and three mixed ones.