Indo-Asian News Service
Source : Culture and Community News
Publish Date : 11/27/2004 4:40:00 PM

All set for Aga Khan award for architecture

The prestigious Aga Khan award for architecture will be presented at a glittering ceremony in the gardens of Humayun's Tomb here Saturday afternoon.

The high-profile award presentation ceremony will be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Aga Khan, ministers, top diplomats, architects and bureaucrats.

The award, established in 1977 by the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Islamic culture as expressed through architecture, is presented every three years.

Prizes worth $500,000 are selected by an independent master jury to honour building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies in which Muslims have a significant presence.

To present the award, the Aga Khan arrived here with his entourage on Wednesday. He met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Manmohan Singh on Thursday.

As part of the three-day award celebrations, a stamp unveiling ceremony will be held Sunday evening in Agra to commemorate the issue of special postage stamps featuring Agra Fort and the 2004 Aga Khan award for architecture.

A seminar, to be attended by over 250 delegates, to debate the issues in contemporary architecture will be held at Mughal Sheraton Hotel in Agra on Monday.

The award has completed eight cycles since 1977, and documentation has been compiled on over 7,000 building projects located throughout the world. To date, the master juries have identified 84 projects to receive awards.

Historical settings are chosen on the basis of their importance to Islamic architecture to honour the winning projects and mark the close of each triennial cycle. Earlier, the awards were presented at picturesque settings like Shalimar Gardens in Lahore (1980), Topkapi Palace in Istanbul (1983), Badi Palace in Marrakesh (1986), The Alhambra in Granada (1998), and the Citadel of Aleppo (2001).

Aga Khan is the title of the religious leader and imam of the Ismaili Nizari sect of Islam, originally bestowed by the Persian Shah Fath Ali on Hasan Ali Shah, 1800-1881, the 46th Ismaili imam in 1818.