George Town World Heritage Site Management

George Town World Heritage Site Management

29 June 2011

george1As one of the heritage NGOs in Penang, we welcome, encourage and appreciate private restorations effort at the World Heritage Site. There had been many wonderful efforts from private sectors to restore the heritage buildings over the years. After the listing, we believed that there are more and more applications on restoration/ renovation.  However, the Penang Heritage Trust is very concerned about the lack of management and monitoring of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We were informed that the following project has obtained permission from MPPP for its restoration project, but we are also worrying about the lack of monitoring of the project. Please refer to the images that showed the its condition in 1998 and current situation.

The fear is that in not following our own guidelines, we are not managing the site well, and in not managing the site well we are endangering the WH listing.george2

According to the conservation principle which has been made as a practice of many conservation architects in George Town, if the building needs to be altered too much for the sake of the new use – the new use is wrong. And whatever we do if it is different from the original – it must be reversible.

It is utterly heart breaking to witness the gradual destruction of our heritage.