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Fortifications and the World Heritage Convention – Valdivia Chile 2004 and Campeche Mexico 2005

Two international experts’ meetings were held in Campeche (Mexico) on 12-15 March 2004, and subsequently in Valdivia (Chile) on 19-21 January 2005, on the subject of Fortifications in the Americas and the World Heritage Convention. Fortifications are one of the most significant cultural heritages that best summarizes and exemplifies the intercontinental history of the Americas. Whereas there is a specific meaning to each fortified property, a comparison and joint reading of the history of various sites reveals overarching commonalities. Fortifications until now have been an underdeveloped theme on the World Heritage list, reflecting only certain geographical areas and periods of history. This project has sought to develop a coherent and extensive reading of fortified heritage in the Americas. This project comes under the framework of the implementation of the Global Strategy (1995) and is the first to attempt this specific interpretation of the history of South America, the Caribbean and North America as a coherent ensemble in historic, geographic and architectural terms.

Results of these meetings are manifold, and through the analysis developed by experts and national representatives the following results have been gauged : The composition of a corpus of historical and cartographical documents; The definition of historico-geographical proposals for a transnational serial nomination; The Compilation of original bibliographical and archival material for the serial nomination and Publication of the results of the meeting that will serve as a methodology for national working groups.

Thes results of this seminar  have been published in the World Heritage Series Number 19, available in English and Spanish and entitled ‘Fortifications and the World Heritage Convention’.