A new addition to the UNESCO world heritage sites in Mumbai are the Victorian and Art Deco buildings around Marine Drive. They have been declared a new Unesco World Heritage Site according to the announcement from Bahrain, where the Unesco World Heritage committee meeting was held.  CM Devendra Fadnavis said that this is a huge victory for Mumbai. After the Elephanta Caves and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, this is the third site in Mumbai to get such privilege.

“This tag is an international acknowledgement of Mumbai’s pioneering role in managing historic urban heritage that is in living use. It also positions Mumbai high on the global map of financial and cultural destinations and will translate into increased cultural tourism in Maharashtra.” says conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah.

New UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mumbai
Bombay High Court in Mumbai, India, unesco world heritage sites in Mumbai
Bombay High Court in Mumbai, India

These Victorian and Art Deco buildings are unique because they’re not uninhibited monuments, but active public buildings in use as courts, libraries or theatres.

The ensemble that lies to the east of the Oval Maiden in South Mumbai includes some famous landmarks; The Rajabai Clock Tower, the Bombay High Court, The University of Mumbai, The City Civil and Sessions Court. The cluster of Art Deco buildings includes residential buildings and the Eros theatre among others.

The significance of UNESCO world heritage sites
An aerial view showing the streetscape of Kala Ghoda Mumbai
An aerial view showing the streetscape of Kala Ghoda. © Abha Narain Lambah Associates, via UNESCO

The purpose of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is to assist in protecting and preserving rare sites through the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The heritage sites hold Outstanding Universal Value which is considered to be beyond national boundaries and to be of great significance for future generations. This international treaty was drawn up in 1972.

The tag brings a lot of advantages to the UNESCO world heritage sites in Mumbai. The site is promoted as an emerging tourist hub because of the global fame attracting more tourists. They get Funds from international sources for the protection of such rare sites and strict control over making external changes to the structure of the building. Under the Geneva convention, the sites will also be protected against misuse or destruction during wars.

Read more: 11 Off-Beat Places to See in Mumbai

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