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Niels Gutschow received Federal Cross of Merit

May 28, 2015

Prof. Dr. Niels Gutschow received the cross of merit on the ribbon of the order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The architect was honored as "scientific and cultural bridgebuilder". The state-secretary of Hessen, Thomas Metz, conferred him the decoration at the award ceremony in February. Prof. Gutschow coordinated project D4 "Aspects of Authenticity" at the Cluster "Asia and Europe".

In the laudatory speech, state-secretary Metz emphasised Prof. Gutschow's extensive research on architecture and urban planning and his contribution to a better understanding of cultural and social relationships between different regions, religions and societies. Gutschow's main focus was on Europe and Asia, where he did long-time field research in Nepal. As an international renowned building historian, he was also awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize 2011 in Japan. The cross of merit on the ribbon of the order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany now honors his life work and civil engagement.

Niels Gutschow is Honorary Professor at the Department of Indology at the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, since 2004. He was involved in the Cluster "Asia and Europe" as coordinator of research project D4 "Aspects of Authenticity". Gutschow graduated in architecture from Darmstadt University, and wrote his PhD-thesis on the Japanese Castle Town in 1973. 1978-80 he was head of the Münster Authority of Monument Protection and between 1980-2000 member of the German National Committee for Conservation. He absolved an apprenticeship as carpenter in Japan (1962/63) and was member of a team for the first bilateral conservation project in Bhaktapur, Nepal (1971). Since 1980, he is working in two worlds: research into war-time and post-World War II history of urban planning in Germany and Europe and into urban space and rituals in India and Nepal. He is consultant for UNESCO at World Heritage sites in Nepal (1992) and Pakistan (1995) and was member of a German-Japanese commission of conservation experts between 1996-1999. He lives in Abtsteinach, Germany and Bhaktapur, Nepal.

See the press release by Hessen Ministry of Justice in German


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  • Cross of Merit on the Ribbon (Federal Republic of Germany)