On October 14, the 20th Anniversary of UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation was held in Penang, Malaysia. Dr. Huang Yong and representatives from Suzhou Municipality were invited to attended the ceremony. The winner of 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation was also announced. The Restoration Project of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, which was submitted by City of Suzhou, stood out from the 57 projects of 14 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific area, and was awarded the 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific “Award of Distinction” for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
The jury of UNESCO believe that the meticulous protection of Ke Yuan, a classical garden of Suzhou built in Qing Dynasty, has reflected the artistic and scientific nature of the conservation of the traditional Chinese landscape.
Both traditional and contemporary technologies and materials have been used to restore plant landscapes and repair traditional structures such as the stone bridges, and it has achieved a balance between natural elements and constructural elements in the garden. Ke Yuan has become an important communication center for traditional culture. This restoration project has not only resumed the internal harmony of Ke Yuan as a classical garden, but also preserved the status and tradition of classical gardens in Suzhou-style living.
Through the process of applying for UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation, Suzhou has accelerated the exchanges and cooperation with the world in the field of cultural heritage conservation, and it will further bring the Classical Gardens of Suzhou to the other member cities of OWHC.