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2007 Corporate Media Release - Ministerial World Heritage Media Release

Issued 28 June, 2007


The Sydney Opera House was today recognised as one of the most outstanding places on Earth when the World Heritage Committee inscribed it on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Announcing the listing, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, MP and NSW Planning and Arts Minister Frank Sartor said the Sydney Opera House now ranks alongside other universally treasured places such as the Taj Mahal, the ancient Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China and the Great Barrier Reef.

“World Heritage listing is not conferred lightly. Each place on this list has been judged as the most outstanding example of its type,” Mr Turnbull said.

“The Sydney Opera House was a daring and visionary experiment that has had an enduring influence on 20th century architecture and beyond.

“The genius of architect Jørn Utzon’s design demanded outstanding engineering feats and new technologies. His legacy is a place that fascinates, excites and attracts people from around the globe,” said Mr Turnbull.

NSW Planning and Arts Minister Frank Sartor said Jørn Utzon’s vision had pushed the boundaries of architecture and design and was embraced by a city which celebrates passion and daring.

“Today Sydney shares Utzon’s triumph – we have never forgotten what a gift he gave this great city and now the world will never forget it either,” Mr Sartor said.

“The Sydney Opera House is the jewel in the crown of a modern, global city. It is a constant reminder of what can be achieved when one man’s brilliance is recognised and allowed to flourish.

“It is 50 years since Utzon won the Opera House design competition and nine years since we expressed our eternal gratitude by awarding him the Keys to the City of Sydney.”

The Sydney Opera House, which has been listed as a masterpiece of human creative genius, was a collaborative achievement between architects, designers, engineers, manufacturers and the construction industry. British engineers Ove Arup & Partners, and Australian architects Hall, Todd and Littlemore, and NSW Government architect Ted Farmer all played a role in construction of the building.

The announcement comes as the nation celebrates the 25th anniversary of the first Australian World Heritage Listing. For more information: or

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