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Old January 18th, 2006, 05:16 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Sydney Opera House nominated for World Heritage status

Sydney Opera House nominated for World Heritage status

SYDNEY, Jan 16, 2006 (AFP) - Australian authorities on Monday nominated Sydney Opera House for listing as a World Heritage site, calling the unique expressionist structure "a masterpiece of human creative genius".

The multi-shell structure on Sydney's harborside is one of the world's most recognisable and photographed buildings and was nominated for World Heritage listing jointy by the federal government and the state of New South Wales (NSW), of which Sydney is the capital.

"Our nomination argues that the Sydney Opera House is an outstanding conjunction of architecture and engineering, a turning point in the modern architectural movement, an exceptional engineering feat," NSW Arts and Environment Minister Bob Debus said.

The Opera House, designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon and completed in 1973, was nominated for World Heritage listing in 1980 but was overlooked as too recent.

The new nomination, to be sent to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris, described the building as "a masterpiece of human creative genius and a masterful architectural and engineering achievement."

Utzon, now 80, won a competition to design the Opera House in 1957 but quit the project before its completion due to disputes over its design and construction cost blowouts.

He reconciled with Sydney authorities several years ago and helped draw up a series of guidelines for future development of the Opera House.

A decision on the building's World Heritage listing will come next year.

Australia already has 16 World Heritage listed sites, including the Great Barrier Reef and one building, the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, which received the designation in 2004.

Worldwide, there are 812 World Heritate listed sites.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 03:23 AM   #2
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yeah, very worthy building indeed.
remember this is a 1950's building completed in 1970's. not a bad design.lol
looks great in day time and even more spectacualr at night




















some interior shots>
bar




concert hall lobby




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Old January 25th, 2006, 04:00 AM   #3
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Danish architects built great stuffs in general.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 11:53 AM   #4
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Yup , a real icon.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 12:40 PM   #5
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one of the best structure, hoping one day i could go there...
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Old February 7th, 2006, 05:20 AM   #6
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Old February 7th, 2006, 05:45 AM   #7
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Yeah - I’ve always preferred the view from the rear to the more famous front views.

From Ken Duncan’s Online Gallery

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Old January 12th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #8
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Australia's World Heritage sites
Queensland
Great Barrier Reef
Wet Tropics of Queensland
Fraser Island
Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh) (Qld/ SA)
Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Qld/ NSW)

New South Wales
Willandra Lakes Region
Lord Howe Island Group
Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves (Qld/ NSW)
Greater Blue Mountains

Northern Territory
Kakadu National Park
Uluru-Kata Tjuta

Victoria
Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

Western Australia
Shark Bay
Purnululu National Park

Tasmania
Tasmanian Wilderness
Macquarie Island

South Australia
Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Naracoorte) (Qld/ SA)

Offshore (Australian Government)
Heard and McDonald Islands

For more information on Australia's World Heritage sites, photos of the exhibition and a 25th anniversary commemorative book, Australia's World Heritage, visit www.heritage.gov.au.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 02:48 AM   #9
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Sydney Opera House serenades architect on 90th birthday

SYDNEY, April 9, 2008 (AFP) - Staff at the Sydney Opera House Wednesday sang "Happy Birthday" to Jorn Utzon, the Danish architect who created the famous harbourside building, to celebrate him turning 90.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra played as about 250 staff gathered in the concert hall of the white-tiled, sail-shaped building Utzon designed half a century ago but which has never been completed.

Utzon began work on the Opera House in 1957 but quit the project in 1966 following a storm of controversy over budget blow-outs and his artistic vision.

Before it opened in 1973, critics had likened the white sails of the now world-renowned building to "albino turtles mating" and "nuns packing into a scrum".

Utzon, who lives in Denmark, renewed his involvement with the Opera House in 1999 after he was asked to work on refurbishing the interiors, most of which are not how he designed them and are acknowledged to have inadequate acoustics.

Opera House chief executive Richard Evans said staff wanted to celebrate Utzon's milestone birthday in a special way given his connection to the building.

"The relationship between the man and the building has extended for more than 50 years and Jorn is still adding to its potential," he said.

The singing was videotaped and will be sent to the Utzon, who in 2003 spoke of his deep and abiding attachment to his best-known work which sits on Bennelong Point near the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

"Even in the period between when I left Australia in the late 60s and until my re-engagement on the Opera House in the late 90s, I have constantly felt the presence of the Sydney Opera House close to my heart," Utzon, who has not returned to Sydney since 1966, wrote to then New South Wales state premier Bob Carr in 2003.

In 2007, the Sydney Opera House was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, alongside the Acropolis, the Palace of Versailles, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #10
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Australia mourns 'genius' Sydney Opera House designer
30 November 2008
Agence France Presse



Australia Sunday mourned the death of Danish architect Joern Utzon, who designed Sydney's iconic, sail-shaped Opera House but never saw his building completed.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd led the tributes to Utzon, who died in Copenhagen aged 90, describing him as a visionary whose legacy includes one of the world's most spectacular and inspiring structures.

"This opera house is not just Sydney's great symbol to the world, it's Australia's great symbol to the world. And we owe this great symbol to this great man who has now passed away," Rudd said.

"A son of Denmark, but I've got to say, in terms of his spirit, a son of Australia as well."

The famous building's lights will be dimmed on Sunday night in memory of Utzon while the flags on Sydney's nearby Harbour Bridge will fly at half-mast on Monday.

New South Wales state premier Nathan Rees said Australia was indebted to Utzon for the "architectural masterpiece" which draws some 7.5 million visitors each year.

"(He was) a man ahead of his time and we were lucky enough to be the beneficiaries," Rees said.

"We pay tribute to a visionary architect whose design for the Sydney Opera House -- an architectural masterpiece -- has come to symbolise the spirit of our great nation around the world."

The Opera House Trust, which maintains and operates the building and which works with Utzon's son Jan on modifications, said he was "an architectural and creative genius who gave Australia and the world a great gift."

Utzon won a 1956 competition to design the building and began work the following year on a distinctive design which featured the off-white 'sails' pointing towards the harbour.

But a storm of controversy over budget blow-outs and Utzon's artistic vision saw him quit the project in 1966, and he never returned to Australia to see his revolutionary concept as a finished building.

When Britain's Queen Elizabeth II opened the Opera House in 1973, the building's interiors were not those of Utzon's design and several unplanned venues had been added.

Sydney Opera House chief executive Richard Evans, who worked with Utzon on recent modifications, said he did not think the architect "carried around a lot of grief" about how the project was completed without him.

"I think there are sections of the building that he was more happy with than others," he told AFP. "But I didn't have an overwhelming sense, from knowing him, that he was bitter."

Evans said Utzon would have returned to Australia if he could, particularly after the New South Wales state government honoured him with the keys to the city in the late 1990s and asked for his help with future modifications.

"His health didn't allow him to come back and visit the building," he said.

In his later years, not only did New South Wales recognise Utzon's contribution but the Sydney Opera House was included in the World Heritage List in 2007 and he was awarded the Pritzker architecture prize.

In its evaluation, the World Heritage Committee said the Opera House "stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind."

Evans said the building, which he described as a cross between New York's Lincoln Centre and Paris' Eiffel Tower, had changed the way Australia thought of itself.

"That an opera house is a symbol of a very young country is, I think, quite remarkable," he said.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #11
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Australia remembers Opera House architect Utzon
25 March 2009
Agence France Presse

Late Danish architect Joern Utzon was on Wednesday honoured in Sydney with a state memorial service inside his iconic Opera House.

Traditional Aboriginal dancers performed a dawn smoking ceremony to commemorate Utzon, who designed the heritage-listed building and died last year in Copenhagen aged 90.

Actress Cate Blanchett recited Shakespeare and Australia's ballet, opera and symphony companies filled the caverns of the concert hall with sound and colour, bringing the audience of 2,000 to their feet in a standing ovation.

"In addition to its physical beauty, the Sydney Opera House has also played a major role in the development of Australia's artistic and cultural identity," said Arts Minister Peter Garrett.

"The simple fact is the Opera House has come to be recognised throughout the world as one of the defining symbols of Sydney and Australia.

"As a nation today, we pause to say thank you to Joern Utzon for giving form to a shared vision for modern Australia."

Although Utzon never set foot inside the Opera House, his son Jan said the building was his father's most important work, and a celebration of life.

"Australians have given him so much love and affection," he said. "His heart was here."

Utzon won a 1956 competition to design the building and began work the following year on a distinctive design which featured the off-white 'sails' pointing towards the harbour.

But a storm of controversy over budget blow-outs and Utzon's artistic vision saw him quit the project in 1966, and he never returned to Australia to see his revolutionary concept as a finished building.

The Sydney Opera House was included in the World Heritage List in 2007, with the committee saying the structure "stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind."
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Old November 8th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #12
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UN-listed convict sites encourage a broader view of our place in the world
13 August 2010
The Age

Australia's story is one of people's global journeys, which continue to this day.

AMONG the 21 sites recently approved for inscription on the World Heritage list was a largely unheralded item from Australia — convict heritage. The inscription consists of a serial nomination of 11 sites in Sydney, Norfolk Island, Fremantle, Hobart and other places in what was then Van Diemen's Land, a place of dark repute.

Making the case to UNESCO that the history of penal settlement on the other side of the world has left heritage of "outstanding universal value" to humankind alerts us to new directions in thinking about heritage — and the place of "economic migrants" in history.

To Australians, penal settlement is the national foundation story that we preferred to ignore for nearly 200 years. The notion of a "convict stain" depended on theories of inherited criminality, now discredited. Today we see our convict ancestors as the poor of England and Ireland who got the rough end of the pineapple of 18th and 19th-century society. We all need national myths.

Meanwhile, Australian heritage agencies and museums have given us a repertoire of old buildings, historical landscapes and spectral ruins with which to re-imagine the convict settlers — Sydney, the centre of power; Cockatoo Island and the Great North Road, infrastructure built by hand; Norfolk Island and Port Arthur, the shadow of violence that kept the system going.

How do these sites, obviously fundamental to Australians' knowledge of our history, relate to the rest of the world? The World Heritage committee was convinced by a global view of the 18th-19th centuries.

We tend to think about the old world and the new world separated and isolated by oceans, but it is also possible to think of them as linked by the sea. Travel networks have crisscrossed the globe for various purposes for much longer than moderns tend to assume. Conquest and trade are the ancient motives for long-distance travel. Convict transportation was a new one.

Britain was neither the first nor the only power to expel people to distant parts, but it did so on a new scale: 165,000 were shipped off to New South Wales and the other colonies between 1787 and 1868. It was no feudal exile; the process was managed, stocked, staffed and documented by government officials.

This bureaucracy made records that now offer a unique picture of the physical condition, personal history and fate of a neat segment of the 19th-century working class. The combined convict records of NSW, Tasmania and Western Australia were recognised as documentary heritage of world significance in 2006, when they were inscribed on UNESCO's Register of the Memory of the World.

Now the built remnants of the convict experience of penal exile in Australia have been acknowledged as representing the beginnings of mass (coerced) transnational migration. That's why Port Arthur and the other sites are of outstanding universal value.

It is a very different rationale to the focus on grand monuments with which the World Heritage list began in 1975. For many years, Gothic cathedrals, baroque palaces and Chinese temples had a large presence among the cultural sites on the list. Australia, with no great monuments, first nominated natural environment sites such as the Great Barrier Reef.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta and the Tasmanian wilderness had cultural dimensions added to their listings when it was asserted that indigenous people had cultural histories of deep antiquity. A certain dream of the antipodean monumental inspired the nomination of the Sydney Opera House. The argument for listing the Melbourne Exhibition Building introduced the perspective of Australian participation in global events.

The primary condition of World Heritage status — outstanding universal value — requires us to consider "our" heritage in a bigger frame than usual. Museum and heritage funding from state and federal sources conventionally shapes exhibitions and sites into "Victorian experience" or "Tasmanian heritage" — or, at the National Museum in Canberra, "Australian stories". These takes on history and heritage are primarily for us Australians.

By contrast, the convict sites listing underlines the global truth that Australia is a nation of migrants in a world of mobile people. Convict transportation played a cameo role in the history of modern people movements. Another was the slave trade, already acknowledged with the World Heritage listing of sites in Ghana and Tanzania, and the topic of a proposed serial listing that includes destinations such as Jamaica and Barbados.

World Heritage status is not about our national foundation, shameful or celebrated. It's about the history of the world. And history is a construct of the present, meaningful to the present, addressing the topics of the present.

In this light, the outstanding universal value of the Australian convict sites speaks to us of contemporary human movements around the world: global citizens, economic migrants, refugees. If Australians today can be the first of these, it's because we absorbed the second and third throughout our history.

The small boats arriving on Australian shores today have a long history. That history made Australia what it is today, as the World Heritage listing of the convict sites tells us.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #13
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It's about time! The design itself stands the test of time, but the brown-wash tends make the look outdated in some of the pictures. I wish to visit this beautiful icon in the near future
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Old November 28th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #14
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Opera House architect's son bashed in Sydney
1 November 2010
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The son of Opera House architect Joern Utzon says he has not been put off Sydney despite being bashed at the weekend.

Jan Utzon, 66, regularly visits Sydney to oversee changes at the famed Opera House.

He suffered bruising to his face and knee during an unprovoked attack at Manly, in Sydney's north, on Saturday night.

Mr Utzon says he stepped outside his hotel to get better mobile reception when a random man in his mid-30s set upon him.

"I was surprised and, of course, shocked because he was like a whirlwind," he said.

"My arms were just up to fend his blows really. I have no bruises or anything on my hands.

"I've got bruises on my shoulders, on my chest, on my face (and) hurt my leg a bit."

Mr Utzon says while he is not happy about the incident, it could have happened anywhere.

"It's just a stupid thing that happens and I don't even feel particularly vindictive about the guy who attacked me," he said.

"I just hope that whatever he gets out of this could possible get him on a better track or make him think twice about attacking people in the future, so that he doesn't ruin his own life by doing things like that."

The state MP for Manly, Mike Baird, has apologised to Mr Utzon.

Mr Baird says alcohol-fuelled violence is a growing problem in the area.

"I feel that I should apologise to him for what he experienced," Mr Baird said.

"It's a real testament to him that he said that this event hasn't tarnished his view of Sydney. We appreciate that, and hopefully he can accept our sincere apologies on behalf of Manly."

Police are questioning a man over the attack, no charges have been laid.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 05:19 AM   #15
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That's wonderful. I support

One of the most brilliant works on Earth.
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