Skip Links

Sydney Opera House World Heritage Listing

World Heritage Large Image

Sydney Opera House was formally recognised as one of the most outstanding places on Earth with its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List under the World Heritage Convention on 28 June 2007.

Sydney Opera House is now listed 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.

The expert report by the International Council on Monuments and Sites to the World Heritage Committee states, "Sydney 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."

Sydney Opera House Architect Jørn Utzon received the news that the building is to be inscribed on the World Heritage List, saying "World Heritage Listing is fantastic... thank you very much."

From Denmark, Utzon said, "World Heritage Listing gives the building - on its peninsula, in the centre of the city - a completely new value."

"It is a gift to the city of Sydney."

Utzon said it was fantastic news for him personally, the other architects, engineers, builders and craftsmen who worked on Sydney Opera House, and especially for the people of Sydney.

At the time of listing it was 50 years since Utzon was announced as the competition winner (January 1957) and 33 years since Sydney Opera House was officially opened (October 1973). It is the youngest cultural site to ever be included on the World Heritage List and one of only two cultural sites to be listed during the lifetime of its architect, Jørn Utzon (1918-2008).

The Chair of Sydney Opera House Trust, Kim Williams, said, "Inclusion of Sydney Opera House on the World Heritage List confirms the very special significance it has for all people, wherever they live."

"The Trust and staff feel very profoundly that we are the custodians of one of the world's most important buildings, and that we are entrusted with a treasure of international significance on behalf of this generation and generations to come."

"The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building." Louis Kahn

Skip Links