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GT-Armenian stWhen asked 15 years ago about conservation efforts of historic Georgetown ,  Salma Khoo, director of Areca Books – a heritage and historical books publisher based in Penang – would answer, “What really matters to Penangites is food; they simply take their heritage for granted”.

In July 2008, international recognition was given to Penang when George Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; completely transforming local perception. Melaka (Malacca) and George Town (GT) are jointly inscribed on the list as “The Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca [where] the influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia. Both towns bear testimony to a living multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, where the many religions and cultures met and coexisted”.

This recognition is an essential milestone for the handful of Penangites who have strived for years for the preservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of GT. Read the rest of this entry »

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