Unesco Makes the Sydney Opera House More Special


A pretty big week for Sydney, Australia, as it was announced that the Sydney Opera House was just listed as a “site of international cultural heritage” by Unesco’s World Heritage Committee, placing it alongside such things as the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids. Here’s a little:

The harbourside landmark, completed in 1973, is the youngest building on the list, and one of only 15 or so from the 20th century. The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, said that the Opera House, with its distinctive sail-shaped roof, was “testament to the daring of architect Joern Utzon and to those who brought about his vision.”

Malcolm Turnbull, the Federal Environment Minister, said World Heritage listing was “not conferred lightly.” “When it was first designed by Joern Utzon in 1956 he entered his drawings for a building nobody knew how to build,” Mr Turnbull said. “The judges, when they courageously selected it as the winning entry, said this building could be one of the great buildings of the world. Now 51 years later it has proved to be exactly that.”

Another interesting, related story that popped up on our radar concerns the hopes that maybe now, after receiving the listing, the government will pony up the $700 million to completely gut and re-design the interior, which is substantially more than the building cost originally when “State MPs at the time were angered by the massive budget blowout from $7 million to $102 million and likened the design to copulating turtles.”