12 December 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the inscription of the Historic Centre of San Gimignano on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
On this occasion, the City of San Gimignano organized a celebratory event, bringing together high-level representatives from the Italian government and UNESCO, as well as site managers, experts, artists, and representatives from the public sector and academia.
The Director of the World Heritage Centre, Mechtild Rössler, delivered a speech in which she celebrated the exceptional value of the Historic Centre of San Gimignano which has conserved its architectural homogeneity and its original urban layout over the years. The City of San Gimignano, in partnership with the Tuscany Region, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBAC), and through the local Superintendence has made significant efforts to preserve the integrity and authenticity of the site.
Today, this World Heritage site is deeply impacted by the sudden loss of tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this crisis which has impacted the local economy of many heritage sites, UNESCO has established a special Task Force for Tourism chaired by the Assistant Director-General for Culture.
“Heritage is an important resource for sustainable development. Indeed, when World Heritage is managed well, it can contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and make an important contribution to sustainable development in many ways,”
said Ms Rössler.
The Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre, Jyoti Hosagrahar, also delivered a lecture regarding the implementation of the HUL Recommendation: “Beyond the historic centre: The Historic Urban Landscape approach”. She also shared strategies for the recovery of sustainable tourism, as did Peter Debrine, Senior Project Officer at UNESCO.