And the award goes to…

This time, we de­cided to hand over the reins of pick­ing win­ners for our very own city awards to su­trad­haars – Sir PM and Lady Flora. We’d like to re­mind our read­ers that the two re­spectable judges have tried their best to stay free of any out­side in­flu­enc

Mid Day - - City - Fiona Fer­nan­dez Her­itage block­buster of the year: UN­ESCO WHS tag Most awaited come­back of the year: Flora Foun­tain Land­mark of the year award: St Thomas Cathe­dral New cul­tural hotspot award: Bal­lard Es­tate Send your feed­back to mail­[email protected]

“SO, LADY Flora, what’s this hype and pres­sure about New Year res­o­lu­tions? I just don’t get it. And, to add to it @bom­bayana has asked us to com­pile this list of the year that was. How much should we look back, side­ways, ahead… too much stress,” cribbed Sir PM on their walk down DN Road be­fore the last day of the year. “Oh, Pheroze, you mustn’t al­low this to get the bet­ter of you. It’s such a pres­ti­gious hon­our. Imag­ine, we get to pick our favourite mo­ments, sights, sounds and even throw a brick­bat or two,” she winked at her friend. Af­ter a long pause, he said, “I see your point, Lady Flora. No more com­plain­ing – that’s my res­o­lu­tion for 2019. Let’s get to work and share our notes with mid-day’s read­ers.” June 30, 2018 will go down as a land­mark day for Mum­bai’s her­itage move­ment. The Vic­to­rian Gothic and Art Deco En­sem­ble span­ning 19th and 20th cen­turies were de­clared a UN­ESCO World Her­itage Site. This was the third hon­our con­ferred on a city land­mark – CSMT and Ele­phanta be­ing the other two. It was a vic­tory for the many cit­i­zen groups who worked tire­lessly to cre­ate a hefty, re­search backed dossier that won the nod from the panel. So, the next time you’re strolling through Oval Maidan or hear a chime from Ra­jabai Tower, re­mem­ber it’s on the world her­itage map. Fi­nally, af­ter much an­tic­i­pa­tion, the beau­ti­ful statue at the nodal point of the orig­i­nal city will open to the pub­lic af­ter years of ded­i­cated re­pair and restora­tion. The stun­ning work of art and de­sign, de­pict­ing the Ro­man god­dess of Abun­dance, will sport aes­thetic street fur­ni­ture and light­ing, and she will con­tinue to cast her calm­ing gaze over her city.

Dis­claimer: We hope read­ers don’t mind some self-pro­mo­tion for the above men­tion. It was based on pub­lic de­mand.

Global show­case award: Three awards at UN­ESCO’S 2017 Asia-Pa­cific Awards for Cul­tural Her­itage Con­ser­va­tion

There was much for In­dia’s (and Mum­bai’s) her­itage move­ment as three of the 16 awards emerged from the coun­try at this year’s UN­ESCO Asia-Pa­cific Awards for Cul­tural Her­itage Con­ser­va­tion,

The LAMO Cen­tre in Ladakh, Leh won the pres­ti­gious Award of Dis­tinc­tion while city land­marks - Ra­jabai Clock Tower and Univer­sity of Mum­bai Li­brary Build­ing and the Rut­ton­see Mul­jee Jetha Foun­tain – won in the Hon­ourable Men­tion cat­e­gory. Mum­bai had a role to play in all wins - Brinda So­maya and Vikas Di­lawari’s projects were city-based, of course, while Dr Mon­isha Ahmed, the co-founder of the LAMO Cen­tre, is also from here. Bravo! The ter­cente­nary cel­e­bra­tions of this land­mark put the spot­light on the his­toric Angli­can church, one of In­dia’s old­est, as it came to life with choral con­certs, her­itage walks, restora­tion of its in­te­ri­ors, and the mar­quee event – a month­long ex­hi­bi­tion of its rare archival ma­te­rial and relics, cur­rently un­der­way at CSMVS. A gift to the city, it’s a must-see chron­i­cle of the city’s ori­gins. The oth­er­wise quiet Bal­lard Es­tate came to life ear­lier this month as NGO Art in the Park or­gan­ised an eco-friendly Kala Ut­sav with art work­shops for

chil­dren, all free of cost. The ini­tia­tive sup­ported by the In­dian Her­itage Foun­da­tion, Mum­bai Port Trust, and the Bom­bay Cham­ber of Com­merce saw foot­fall of 3,500. Here’s to more such ini­tia­tives.

Party pooper of the year (sec­ond year run­ning): Metro work

Let’s face it. Mum­bai’s her­itage – from DN Road his­toric land­marks to its Parsi fire tem­ples, pre­cious man­groves have all been at the re­ceiv­ing end of this. The fu­ri­ous pace at which the city has been at the mercy of this in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment, is a wor­ry­ing sign. It’s been touted as an up­grade and im­prove­ment of the city’s com­mut­ing and trans­port woes; but the fall­out is in­creas­ingly look­ing larger than the real deal, which we hope will fruc­tify into some­thing good and ben­e­fi­cial. The costs un­til now, sadly, are too high. mid-day’s Fea­tures Ed­i­tor Fiona Fer­nan­dez rel­ishes the city’s sights, sounds, smells and stones...wher­ever the ink and the in­cli­na­tion takes her. She tweets @ bom­bayana

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