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June 25, 2018

UNESCO World Heritage Committee Session Opens in Manama, Bahrain

Mumbai, UNESCO

Photo: Rajabhai Tower, University of Mumbai, is a part of the Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai, India, which the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will examine for inclusion in the UNESCO cultural heritage sites list. Image credit: Nishita Desai.

Manama, Bahrain — The opening ceremony of the 42nd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee took place Sunday at the Bahrain National Theatre in the presence of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain. It marked the beginning of the Committee’s work, which will continue until 4 July.

Several hundred people took part in the ceremony, which was opened by the President of the Bahraini Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Sheikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, the Chair of the 42nd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, Sheikha Haya Bint Rashed Al-Khalifa, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, and the Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Lee Byong-Hyun.

“Expectations of this session are high, and we must seize this opportunity to strengthen joint work for the safeguarding of cultural heritage,” said Sheikha Haya Bint Rashed Al-Khalifa.

“It is significant that this year the Committee is being held in an Arab country,” said the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Azoulay. “The idea of World Heritage has become a global norm,” she added.

The Director-General went on to say that “Across Iraq, over 100 cultural heritage sites have been destroyed, many of which are in Mosul,” and she recalled that “Last February, UNESCO launched an initiative to Revive the spirit of Mosul, in partnership with the Iraqi authorities.”

The Chairperson of UNESCO’s Executive Board, Lee Byong-Hyun, said that “The World Heritage Convention, as UNESCO’s most universally recognized normative instrument, is a remarkable example of how collaboration among nationals through education, science, and culture can be put into practice through common effort.”

During the session, the Committee will examine 29 nominations for inscription on the World Heritage List.

The Committee will also examine the state of conservation of 157 sites already inscribed on the List, 54 of which are on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The following sites are slated for inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

The site of Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize), currently on the List of World Heritage in Danger, may be removed from that list due to improvements in its conservation.

The following proposals for inscription are scheduled to be examined on 29th June:

Natural sites:

  1. Fanjingshan (China)
  2. Chaine des Puys - Limagne fault tectonic arena (France)
  3. Arasbaran Protected Area (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  4. Bikine River Valley [extension of Central Sikhote-Alin, inscribed in 2001] (Russian Federation)
  5. Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains (South Africa)

Mixed sites:

  1. Pimachiowin Aki (Canada)
  2. Chiribiquete National Park - “The Maloca of the Jaguar” (Colombia)
  3. Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley: original habitat of Mesoamerica (Mexico)

Cultural sites:

  1. Žatec - the Town of Hops (Czechia)
  2. Funeral and memorial sites of the First World War (Western Front) (Belgium / France)
  3. Colonies of Benevolence (Belgium / Netherlands)
  4. Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou—Zayton (China)
  5. Aasivissuit—Nipisat Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea (Denmark)
  6. Historic Urban Ensemble of Nîmes (France)
  7. Archaeological Border Landscape of Hedeby and the Danevirke (Germany)
  8. Naumburg Cathedral (Germany)
  9. Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (India)
  10. Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  11. Ivrea, the industrial city of the 20th century (Italy)
  12. Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano a Valdobbiadene (Italy)
  13. Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region (Japan)
  14. Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site (Kenya)
  15. Ancient City of Qalhat (Oman)
  16. Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea (Republic of Korea)
  17. Roșia Montană Mining Landscape (Romania)
  18. Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape (Saudi Arabia)
  19. Caliphate City of Medina Azahara (Spain)
  20. Göbekli Tepe (Turkey)
  21. Khor Dubai, a Traditional Merchants’ Harbour (United Arab Emirates)

The World Heritage Young Professionals Forum will take place in Manama ahead of the Committee session, from 17 to 26 June. Its theme this year will be Protecting Heritage in an Ever-Changing World.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:03 PM | Link to this Post

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