UNESCO has declared two building clusters of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco architectural styles in Mumbai, Maharashtra jointly inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List.
The decision was taken during the 42nd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Manama, Bahrain. This recognition will push country’s financial capital high on the global cultural map.
Victorian Gothic structures and 20th Century Art Deco is the first world heritage site that flaunts combination of 19th Century buildings. The ensemble of two building clusters recognized from Mumbai consists of 94 buildings primarily of 19th-century Victorian Gothic revival and early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture.
Victorian buildings of Mumbai that have earned recognition, forms part of larger Fort precinct and are situated to the east of Oval Maidan. These public buildings, include Old Secretariat (1857-74), University Library and Convention Hall (1874-78), Bombay High Court (1878), Public Works Department Office (1872), Watson’s Hotel (1869), David Sasoon Library (1870), Elphinstone College (1888), Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), Maharashtra Police Headquarters, and NGMA (National Gallery of Modern Art).
Art Deco buildings structures that have earned recognition includes the building of the first row of Marine Drive, Regal and Eros Cinemas, Ram Mahal along Dinshaw Wacha Road, Cricket Club of India and Buildings of Backbay Reclamation scheme.
This is 3rd such honor Mumbai after Elephanta Caves and majestic Victoria Terminus (rechristened Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station) which had earned coveted tag in 1987 and 2004 respectively.
With this, Mumbai has the equal number of World Heritage sites as Delhi, which has three — Red Fort, Qutub Minar, and Humayun’s Tomb. Now the count of World Heritage Sites in India has now risen to 37, of which 29 are cultural, seven natural and one mixed site.