CELEBRATING a decade of George Town’s listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site, George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) is planning a slew of programmes
with the past, present and future of its heritage in mind.
At the launching ceremony of its 10th anniversary celebrations, the series of programmes and events lined up for visitors over the next 12 months were revealed along with the year’s theme and special logo.
This year’s chosen theme ‘PO-TEN-TIAL - Of the Past, In the Present, For the Future’ was selected by GTWHI as they believe that the need to understand the people’s past will better connect them to the present and also help them face the challenges of the future.
GTWHI general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said ‘Potential’ was also chosen as the word “ten” could be derived from it, representing the 10th anniversary.
“We are also launching a logo for 2018 that aligns with the theme, the timber louvre, a window shutter with horizontal slats which is a common feature of our shophouses.
“The open louvre panel symbolises the tangible cultural heritage of the site while the window frame, symbolising the intangible cultural heritage shows how both components of our heritage are intertwined.
“The idea of the open window is meant to reflect how George Town aspires to remain a World Heritage Site that belongs to not only the people of Penang but mankind as a whole,” she said in her speech during the launch at the GTWHI office in Lebuh Acheh recently.
Dr Ang said there are currently 17 programmes lined up throughout the year, where six would be celebration-based, 10 for educational purposes and a two month-long exhibition showcasing the past 10 years of their programmes and achievements.
“Some of the highlights this year are the launching of the 10th Anniversary Commemorative Plaque and the Street Festival scheduled for July 7, the actual anniversary date.
“One of our biggest programmes which will benefit historians will be an international conference on Managing Urban Cultural Heritage, where we are expecting 200 to 300 people from around the world to participate.
“The conference aims to bring together members of national and local governments, universities and research centres, non-governmental organisations, private sectors, community groups, civil society and stakeholders who are engaged in the development, conservation and management of heritage cities,” she added.
Dr Ang said GTWHI is also aiming to promote heritage education in Penang schools through its Cultural Heritage Book Gifting Programme, where 100 sets of seven cultural heritage themed books would be donated to participating secondary schools, colleges and universities.
“We invite all relevant parties to contact us if they are eligible to apply as long as they are based in Penang.
“The programme will run on a first-come, first-served basis from now till Dec 15,” she said.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who launched the anniversary celebration programmes, said it is the state’s responsibility to continue to safeguard local cultural heritage for future generations.
Also present were state Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, Lim’s political secretary Wong Hon Wai and Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng.