Bangkok: The restoration of the Khapulu Palace has been honored with the Award of Distinction in the 2013 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Eminent conservation experts convened review and deliberations on the 47 entries received from 16 countries across the Asia-Pacific region. The winners were selected based on how the projects reflected a clear understanding and application of various criteria, such as the articulation of the spirit of place, technical achievement, appropriate use or adaption, and the project’s contribution to the surrounding environment and the local community’s cultural and historical continuity.
Built in 1840 by the Yabgo Raja of Khaplu, the structure of the palace has Tibetan, Kashmiri and Balti influences. The renovation work was completed by Aga Khan Cultural Services in 2011, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via its embassy in Islamabad. USAID helped fund an exhibition Centre for Balti culture inside the fort. The residential area of the palace is being used as a hotel, operated by Serena Hotels.
Established in 2000, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation recognize excellent achievement in successfully conserving or restoring heritage buildings and properties in the region by the private sector or by public-private initiatives. Further information about the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation and this year’s winning entries can be found at: www.unescobkk.org/culture/heritageawards