Bhuj earthquake memorial shortlisted for UNESCO Award

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 16-06-2024
The Smritivan Earthquake Memorial, Bhuj
The Smritivan Earthquake Memorial, Bhuj


New Delhi

UNESCO has shortlisted seven most beautiful museums for the prestigious Prix Versailles Award and the list includesa the Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum of Bhuj. This was announced by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.

“A moment of pride for Gujarat and India! The Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum in Bhuj has been listed among the 7 most beautiful museums in the world under the prestigious Prix Versailles Award, which is announced annually at UNESCO for architecture and design,” Patel said on X.

It is a matter of pride for Gujarat that an Indian museum has received global recognition for the first time in this manner for its expression of local culture and nature conservation, he further said in the post.

It was the vision of Gujarat’s then chief minister and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build a museum in memory of those who perished in the devastating earthquake of 2001 as well as a tribute to the resilience of Kutch.

“On the basis of that, Smritivan was constructed in Bhuj. The design of this museum, built amidst thousands of trees on Bhujia Hill, is remarkable. This museum is a saga of courageously facing challenges and building anew from them. This museum is a transcendental experience of the supreme element,” the CM added.

n a release, UNESCO’s Prix Versailles said, “For the first time in its history, the Prix Versailles, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is unveiling the World’s Most Beautiful Museums List for 2024: seven newly opened or reopened museums that simultaneously serve creativity, the reflection of local heritage and ecological efficiency, and that leave extraordinary imprints on their environments.” They will all be competing for three 2024 World Titles – Prix Versailles, Interior and Exterior – whose laureates will be announced at UNESCO Headquarters by late November, the release added.

Jérôme Gouadain, Secretary General of the Prix Versailles, is delighted that the momentum established by museum buildings will now be better recognised, it said

“Museums provide singular settings conducive to intercultural dialogue. Bolstered by technology, they now deliver ever more immersive experiences, participate in the dissemination of knowledge and help form the tastes of their visitors,” Gouadain was quoted as saying in the release.

By creating the World’s Most Beautiful Museums List, we also wanted to emphasise the importance of wonder, which elevates the human gaze and allows us to be surprised, Gouadain said.

“Because of what they are, and what they are intended to be, museums fully contribute to the goals of intelligent sustainable development,” the secretary genera of Prix Versailles added.