Art & Culture Current Affairs - 2019

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Jaipur listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Walled City of Jaipur, known for its iconic architectural legacy and vibrant culture, made an official entry into UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site list.

The decision was taken at 43rd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee, underway in Azerbaijan from June 20 up to July 10. During this session, in addition to Jaipur, Committee examined 36 nominations for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

About Jaipur

Founded: It was founded in 1727 CE under the patronage of Maharaj Sawai Jai Singh II. It serves as capital city of culturally-rich state of Rajasthan.

Why Selected?

The Pink City Jaipur was nominated for its value of being an exemplary development in architecture and town planning that demonstrates an amalgamation and important exchange of ideas in late medieval period.

The city shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas in town planning that resulted in the form of city.

It is also a unique example of late medieval trade town in South Asia which defined new concepts for a thriving trade and commercial hub.

It is also associated with living traditions in form of crafts that have national as well as international recognition.

Significance: Being listed on world map as World Heritage site will give a boost to state’s tourism and local economy will benefit along with improving infrastructure.

About World Heritage Committee

It is composed of representatives of 21 States Parties to World Heritage Convention.

The representatives meet annually and the committee is in charge of implementing the Convention.

As of date total 1092 sites in 167 countries have been inscribed on UNSECO’s World Heritage List.

Australia’s Budj Bim Cultural Landscape included in UNESCO’s WHS

Australian Aboriginal site ‘Budj Bim Cultural Landscape’ in south-west Victoria has been added to UNESCOS’s World Heritage List. It was added to UNESCOS’s World Heritage List at a meeting in Baku, in Azerbaijan following a decades-long campaign by traditional owners.

About Budj Bim Cultural Landscape

The site is located within Country of the Gunditjmara, an Aboriginal nation in southwest of Australia.

It was created about 6,600 years ago by the Gunditjmara people. It is older than pyramids, Acropolis and Stonehenge.

Now being included in WHS it has become 1st site in Australia to receive world heritage protection only for its Aboriginal cultural importance.

It features remnants of nearly 300 round stone huts that are now only remaining permanent houses built by an indigenous community in Australia. These stone huts challenges common perception that all Aboriginal people were nomadic.

Geography: It includes Budj Bim Volcano and Lake Condah (or Tae Rak), as well as Kurtonitj (Indigenous Protected Area) component, characterized by wetland swamps, and Tyrendarra in south, which is an area of rocky ridges and large marshes.

Worlds’ oldest Freshwater Aquaculture Systems: Volcano Budj Bim lava flows, which connect these 3 components, have enabled Gunditjmara to develop one of the largest and oldest aquaculture networks in world.

Eel Harvesting: Being composed of dams, channels and weirs (low head dam), they are used to contain floodwaters and create basins so as to trap, store and harvest kooyang eel (Anguilla australis), which has provided native population with an economic and social base for 6 millennia.

It is the 20th site in Australia to make it to WHS list. It is 2nd site for Victoria alongside Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, which was listed in 2004.

Other Australian World Heritage Sites includes- Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House and Kakadu national park.