Cathedral of the Good Shepherd gets Unesco nod for restoration works

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and its rectory building were among 16 recipients at the Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and its rectory building were among 16 recipients at the Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.PHOTO: ST FILE
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is Singapore's oldest Roman Catholic Church.
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is Singapore's oldest Roman Catholic Church.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is Singapore's oldest Roman Catholic Church.
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is Singapore's oldest Roman Catholic Church.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is Singapore's oldest Roman Catholic Church.
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is Singapore's oldest Roman Catholic Church.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
View of the nave from the choir loft of the  Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.
View of the nave from the choir loft of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Singapore's oldest Roman Catholic Church, has received an honourable mention from the United Nations cultural agency for its heritage conservation works.

The cathedral and its rectory building were among 16 recipients at the Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) announced on Wednesday (Nov 1).

A panel of international experts selected the 16 winners from 43 submissions, including 31 in the conservation category and 12 for new design.

The winners are from Australia, China, India, Iran, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The highest accolade - Award of Distinction - went to the Brookman and Moir Streets Precinct in Perth, Australia, and the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Shanghai, China.

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd's recognition comes soon after it received the Architectural Heritage Award conferred by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) for its restoration work on Tuesday (Oct 31).

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, located on Queens Street, was built in 1847.

It reopened in November last year after completing a three-year, $40-million restoration project, prompted by uneven soil at its foundations.

In a previous report by The Straits Times, Mr Ho Weng Hin of Studio Lapis, the cathedral's conservation specialist consultant, pointed out that one of the aims of restoration was to return the church's presence as the main church of Roman Catholics in Singapore.

The Unesco award, now in its 17th year of success, focuses on commending the restoration and conservation of sites that contain heritage value within the region, and aims to incentivise future conservation projects.

Singapore is no stranger to Unesco's spotlight for conservation with its most recent achievement being an award of merit to Singapore's oldest Teochew temple, the Yueh Hai Ching, in 2015. Singapore's Hong San See temple also received an award of excellence in 2010, an award reserved for exceptional entries. 

Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, we said this is Singapore's second time under Unesco's spotlight for conservation. This is incorrect. Singapore has won more than two awards over the years. We are sorry for the error.