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UNESCO received several reports and satellite imagery released today by UNITAR-UNOSAT confirming the destruction of Palmyra’s tetrapylon and parts of the theatre’s proscenium. “This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity,” said UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova. “This new blow against cultural heritage, just a few hours after UNESCO ...
UNESCO led an emergency mission to Aleppo from 16 to 19 January to undertake a preliminary assessment of the extent of damages at the World Heritage site of the Ancient City of Aleppo, as well as the state of educational institutions in the city. The UNESCO team reported extensive damage at the Great Umayyad Mosque, the Citadel, mosques, churches, suqs, khans, madrassas, hammams, museums and ...
On 18 January 2017, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Francesco Bandarin, took part in the official launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid, Spain.  With the presence of Spanish and international dignitaries, representatives from international organizations and civil society, the event ...
Over the last several months, the World Heritage Centre has received numerous messages from citizens and NGOs expressing their concerns regarding the A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down project including a proposed tunnel located within the boundaries of the World Heritage property “Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites”, and the adverse impact it may have on the property. It should be noted ...
As requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016 (Istanbul, Turkey), a joint World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) Reactive Monitoring mission is due to be undertaken in the near future as soon as the invitation letter from the Government of Pakistan (Province of Punjab) is issued. The World Heritage Committee at its 40th ...
An expert meeting for the preparation of the serial transnational World Heritage nomination “Silk Roads: Fergana – Syrdarya Corridor” took place in Kyzylorda (Kazakhstan) on 14 November 2016, as follow-up to the Almaty Agreement adopted on 24–25 November 2015 during the Fourth Meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the World Heritage Serial Nomination of the Silk Roads held in Almaty ...
Dear friends and supporters of World Heritage, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year on behalf of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2016 was a year with many challenges: World Heritage sites were threatened by natural disaster, terrorist attacks and ill-advised infrastructure projects. Across the world, we saw cultural and natural heritage on the frontline of conflicts, fueled by ...
The 1972 World Heritage Convention is founded on the premise of international cooperation. It recognizes that some places are of irreplaceable value to humankind, and signifies the commitment of all nations to support their protection. This global covenant is uniquely suited to facilitate conservation of the world’s ocean, where connectedness is a fact of life. Recognizing that World Heritage ...
Last August, the UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage Managers Conference was held on board Lindblad Expedition’s National Geographic Endeavour, and we were honored to be joined by CEO and Ocean Elder Sven Lindblad. Over the course of the week, Lindblad met with the managers responsible for the day-to-day protection of our common ocean heritage of humanity, sharing the stories behind his commitment ...
The Director of the World Heritage Center deplores the attacks on conservation guards and conservation staff working in World Heritage sites. This week was marked by the deaths of two guards, Bruce Danny Ngongo, in Lobéké National Park (Cameroon), and Patrick Prince Muhayirwa, in the Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo). These two rangers were killed in the course of ...
On 13 December, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova participated, with the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, in the inauguration of the exhibition held at the Grand Palais devoted to Cultural Heritage in Conflict Situations, under the patronage of UNESCO. The inauguration was marked by a visit to the exhibition and included speeches by Ms Sylvie Hubac, President of the ...
The UNESCO office in Iraq has led a rapid assessment mission to the Nimrud archaeological site, located in Nineveh Governorate, Iraq, on 14 December 2016. The objective of the mission was to assess the overall state of conservation of the site, in particular the extent of damage resulting from the deliberate destruction by ISIL/Daesh over the past 2 years. In addition, the mission aimed to ...
The 13th Bamiyan Expert Working Group Meeting met at the Technical University of Munich, Germany (1-3 December 2016), and released important recommendations for future safeguarding actions at the Bamiyan World Heritage site, Afghanistan. The Governor of the Bamiyan province, the Deputy Minister of Culture of Afghanistan, accompanied by high-ranking officials from the Government of ...
In line with UNESCO’s efforts since 1988 to encourage research on the Silk Roads as routes of interchange and dialogue of cultures, the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Funds-in-Trust (FiT) project “Support for the preparation for the World Heritage Serial Nomination of the Silk Roads in South Asia” was developed in May 2013 and completed in August 2016. Upon completion of this project, two reports ...
As we celebrate International Mountain Day and the rich diversity and identity of the world’s mountain cultures, we acknowledge the deep connection of communities and individuals to these majestic and unique areas, where many natural and cultural World Heritage sites of outstanding universal value can be found.    These sites entail not only diverse geological features and ecosystems, but ...
On 3 December, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, delivered concluding remarks at the International Conference for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas, organized at the initiative and in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and the President of France, Francois Hollande. This Conference, held under the patronage of UNESCO, took ...
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, today presented the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) 2016 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award, for her contribution to conservation. The ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace in London. Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF, said that “Irina leads the way and shows us that protecting natural areas and ...
The UN Biodiversity Conference COP13 will be held during 4-17 December 2016 in Cancun, Mexico. It is the highest governing body of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which brings together representatives of the countries party managers and key players to promote the implementation of the Convention. Since the CBD came into force in December 1993, the COP has held 12 regular ...
Following Decisions of the World Heritage Committee, the World Heritage Centre expects a total of 60 state of conservation reports on World Heritage properties which are due to be received by the deadline of 1 December 2016. The Director of the World Heritage Centre confirmed that a number of these reports have already been submitted, for example from Donana National Park (Spain), Osun ...
From 7 to 13 November 2016, the archaeological department of the University of Zimbabwe hosted a regional workshop on rock art conservation with participants from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The workshop received financial support from the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa and the French Embassy in Zimbabwe. The workshop discussed rock art conservation concepts, ...
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