EUNIC announces River Heritage

EUNIC Bangladesh is holding a press conference on its upcoming River Heritage project at a hotel in the capital on Monday. — New Age Photo

The European Union Group of National Institutes for Culture in Bangladesh has announced a new collaborative initiative to study, protect and preserve the architectural heritage of Old Dhaka.

The announcement was made at a press conference held Monday at a hotel in the capital.

The project titled River Heritage is expected to be executed between 2023 and 2024.

European Union Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley, Head of Architecture Department of BUET Prof. Shayer Ghafur, Director of British Council Bangladesh Tom Miscioscia, Director of Alliance Française de Dhaka M François Grosjean, architect Kamalika Bose and visual artist and teacher Ashfika Rahman were present at the press conference.

EUNIC is a network of European national institutes of culture and national bodies engaged in cultural and related activities beyond their national borders. It is a recognized partner of the EU and its stakeholders in defining and implementing European culture policy inside and outside the EU, according to a document.

The project entitled River Heritage is the third part of a long-standing collaborative initiative focusing on heritage, which was launched by the EUNIC cluster in Bangladesh – comprising AFD, the Goethe Institut, the British Council, the embassies of Spain and Belgium and the EU Delegation in Bangladesh. Bangladesh — in 2019.

River Heritage will focus on the architectural heritage of Old Dhaka, people’s way of life, their livelihoods, the complex relationship they have between the river and the city, a press release said.

Charles Whiteley said: “Old Dhaka, with its unique architecture, lifestyle and heritage, is a fascinating place. Its tangible and intangible heritage must be protected.

Tom Miscioscia said, “This project aims to raise awareness and preserve the heritage of Dhaka, which is growing exponentially. As a result, architecture, artefacts, tangible and intangible heritage are affected. Measures must be taken to protect the architectural and cultural heritage.

More than 80 architecture students from the architecture department of BUET, Mumbai, Trivandram and Paris will work on the project. The results will be published in a book and will be included in the official program of the Dhaka Art Summit 2023.

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