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World Heritage Office Penang


World Heritage Office is set up in every city which is recognized as one of UNESCO's historic cities. It is a requirement by UNESCO that there is a center which co-ordinates activities and disseminates information about programs carried out in one particular city regarding to its heritage.

In Penang, the office is located at the former Penang Heritage Center at no. 116  and 118 Acheen Street. It is a grade 2 heritage building strategically placed at the corner of Carnarvon Street, Armenian Street and Acheen Street, at the entrance of the Heritage Enclave.

Penang Heritage Center
The headquarters of World Heritage Office in Penang

This office was officially opened by the Chief Minister of Penang, Mr. Lim Guan Eng on 30th April 2009.

World Heritage Office in Penang There was a short ceremony, complete with ribbon cutting and plaque signing. On that day, there were many new exhibits on display at the center.

The building houses an office, a library, a conference room and several rooms for exhibits. There are slides and videos which can be shown on request. For this purpose, the center is fully furnished with the latest audio-visual equipment.

On the day of the official opening, the emphasis was on dying crafts and arts. Some living heritage individuals were featured with their respective skills. Songkok maker, nyonya kebaya tailor, rattan craftsman, Chinese lantern maker,  Chinese opera master and puppeteer were on display by means of samples of actual products and also educational posters. The posters showed the recipients of Living Heritage Awards over several years with their specialties.

I was able to see interesting exhibits such as beaded nyonya shoes with the kebaya and also Chinese puppets. Previous exhibits of the scale model of the heritage enclave and a wooden Malay house were still there too as the main attractions. 

Scale model of a Malay heritage house
A scale model of a wooden Malay house

The role of this office does not differ much from Penang Heritage Center even though now the name is different. It is still a walk-in tourist information center too for many visitors who happen to be here at the heritage trail.

Here I have several photos to commemorate the official opening of World Heritage Center and also the honors roll of the Living Heritage Award.

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