Finally, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has conferred the heritage status on the Capitol Complex in the city.
The decision was taken at the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO at Istanbul on Sunday.
The Capital Complex was listed in trans-continental serial nomination.Various sites from seven countries — France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Japan and India — were included in the list to show the global reach of the works of French designer Le Corbusier.
The Capitol Complex, also designed by Le Corbusier, represented India for the heritage status.
The Capitol Complex, spread over more than 100 acres in Sector 1, is the prime manifestation of Chandigarh’s architecture designed by Le Corbusier, with the Shivalik hills in the backdrop making the sight more serene and grand.
The buildings at the Capitol Complex include the Open Hand monument, Punjab and Haryana high court, Tower of Shadows, Geometric Hill, the legislative assembly and the secretariat.
How will city gain out of it?
Though UNESCO will not provide any funds to the union territory, it will provide technical assistance for conservation and preservation of the buildings at the complex. The heritage status will also boost tourism in Chandigarh as it will bring the city on the international map.
Anurag Aggarwal, home secretary, UT administration, said, “It will boost tourism in Chandigarh. I have called a meeting for working out a strategy to encash on this development to attract international tourists to the city.
The UNESCO team will frequently review the site and if we fail maintain it upkeep, they can delete it from the heritage status list. For the upkeep, we will not get any funds,” he added.
Admn vying for status since 2007
The UT administration has been vying for the UNESCO heritage status since 2007. Earlier, the administration had attempted to make it to the heritage list in 2008.
How to visit
Those who want to see the Capitol Complex can visit the tourist information centre in Sector 1 to register for a tour. For this, one needs to have an identity proof such as a licence or a pan card.