Cathedral of the Good Shepherd wins Unesco nod for restoration

Above: The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd received an honourable mention at the Unesco Asia-Pacific awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Left: A view of the church's nave from the choir loft.
Above: The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd received an honourable mention at the Unesco Asia-Pacific awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. PHOTOS: UNESCO BANGKOK, CATHEDRAL OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Above: The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd received an honourable mention at the Unesco Asia-Pacific awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Left: A view of the church's nave from the choir loft.
Above: A view of the church's nave from the choir loft.PHOTOS: UNESCO BANGKOK, CATHEDRAL OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Singapore's oldest Catholic church, has received an honourable mention from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) for its heritage conservation works.

Located in Queen Street, the cathedral was among 16 recipients announced at the annual Unesco Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation yesterday.

An international expert panel selected 16 winners from 43 submissions, including 31 in the conservation category and 12 in 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 also received the Architectural Heritage Award from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday for its restoration.

Mr Jevon Liew, 33, a member of the cathedral's restoration committee, told The Straits Times that the Unesco nod affirms the efforts of the restoration team.

"The church members are rejuvenated. We call it our mother church and now that it has regained its prominence, more people will hopefully come," he added.

Built in 1847, the cathedral reopened in November last year after completing a three-year, $40 million restoration project, prompted by uneven soil at its foundations.

The Unesco award, now in its 17th year, focuses on commending the restoration and conservation of sites that contain heritage value in the region, and aims to provide an incentive for 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2017, with the headline 'Cathedral of the Good Shepherd wins Unesco accolade for restoration'. Print Edition | Subscribe