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World Heritage Committee Inscribes 31 New Sites on the World Heritage List

Thursday, 13 December 2001
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Helsinki, Finland - 14 December 2001. The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Helsinki since December 11, has inscribed 31 new sites on the World Heritage List.

The List now numbers 721 sites of "outstanding universal value" in 124 countries. For the first time, sites in Botswana and Israel appear on the List. The 31 inscriptions this year include six natural sites and 25 cultural sites. In addition to the 31, six sites already inscribed on the List were extended.

The following is a list of the sites newly inscribed on the World Heritage List, together with the cultural (C) or natural (N) criteria according to which the sites are inscribed.

The 25 cultural sites inscribed this year are:

AUSTRIA. Historic Centre of Vienna (C ii, iv, vi) Vienna developed from early Celtic and Roman settlements into a medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It had an essential role as the European capital for music, being associated with great composers from Viennese Classicism to modern music. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late-nineteenth-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.

AUSTRIA/HUNGARY. Cultural Landscape of Fertö/Neusiedlersee (C v) The Fertö/Neusiedlersee area has been the meeting place of different cultures for eight millennia. This is graphically demonstrated by its varied landscape, the result of an evolutionary and symbiotic process of human interaction with the physical environment. The remarkable rural architecture of the villages surrounding the lake and several eighteenth- and nineteenth-century palaces adds to the area's considerable cultural interest.

BOTSWANA. Tsodilo (C i, iii, vi) With one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world, Tsodilo has been called the 'Louvre of the Desert'. Over 4,500 paintings are contained in an area of only 10 km2 of the Kalahari Desert. The archaeological record of the area gives a chronological account of human activities and environmental changes over at least 100,000 years. The local communities still living in this hostile environment respect Tsodilo as a place of worship frequented by ancestral spirits.

BRAZIL. Historic Centre of the Town of Goiás (C ii, iv) Goiás testifies to the occupation and colonization of the lands of central Brazil in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The urban layout is an example of an organic mining town, adapted to the conditions of the site. The architecture of both public and private buildings is modest in form, but the whole is harmonious, thanks to the coherent use of local materials and vernacular techniques.

CHINA. Yungang Grottoes (C i, ii, iii, iv) The Yungang Grottoes, in Datong city, Shanxi Province, with their 252 caves and 51,000 statues, represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the fifth and sixth centuries. The Five Caves created by Tan Yao, with their strict unity of layout and design, are classical masterpieces of the first peak of Chinese art.

CZECH REPUBLIC. Tugendhat Villa in Brno (C ii, iv) The Tugendhat Villa in Brno, designed by the architect Mies van der Rohe, is an outstanding example of the international style in the Modern Movement in architecture as it developed in Europe in the 1920s. Its particular value lies in the application of innovative spatial and aesthetic concepts that aim to satisfy new needs in living standards by taking advantage of opportunities afforded by modern industrial production.

FRANCE. Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs (C ii, iv) The fortified medieval town of Provins is situated in the former territory of the powerful Counts of Champagne. It bears witness to early developments in the organization of international trading fairs and the wool industry. The urban structure of Provins, which was built specifically as a function of the fairs and related activities, has been well preserved.

GERMANY. Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen (C ii, iii) The Zollverein industrial landscape in Land Nordrhein- Westfalen consists of the complete installations of a historical coal-mining site, with some twentieth-century buildings of outstanding architectural merit. It constitutes remarkable material evidence of the evolution and decline of the coal industry over the past 150 years.

ISRAEL. Masada National Park (C iii, iv, vi) The site of the self-immolation of nearly a thousand Jewish patriots in the face of a large Roman army, Masada is a symbol of the ancient kingdom of Israel. Built as a palace complex and place of refuge by Herod the Great, King of Judaea (reigned 37–4 BC), Masada's extensive remains survive on the summit of this seemingly impregnable fortress, set in a rugged natural landscape of great beauty. The siege works of the Roman army and other related sites lie unexcavated at the base of the rock.

ISRAEL. Old City of Acre (C ii, iii, v) The historic townscape of the walled port city of Acre is characteristic of Islamic perceptions of urban design, with narrow winding streets and fine public buildings and houses. Beneath the Ottoman Acre, from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, lie almost intact the remains of its predecessor, the Crusader city, dating from 1104–1291. Crusader Acre is today mostly subterranean and has only recently begun to be revealed.

ITALY. Villa d'Este, Tivoli (C i, ii, iii, iv, vi) The Villa d'Este in Tivoli, with its palace and garden, is one of the most remarkable and comprehensive illustrations of Renaissance culture at its most refined. Its innovative design along with the architectural components in the garden (fountains, ornamental basins, etc.) make this a unique example of an Italian sixteenth-century water garden. The Villa d'Este, one of the first giardini delle meraviglie, served as a model for the development of gardens in Europe.

KENYA. Lamu Old Town (C ii, iv, vi) Lamu Old Town is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, retaining its traditional functions. Built in coral stone and mangrove timber, the town is characterized by the simplicity of structural forms enriched by such features as inner courtyards, verandahs, and elaborately carved wooden doors. Owing to the conservative character of its Muslim community, Lamu has hosted major religious festivals since the nineteenth century, and has become a significant centre for the study of Islamic and Swahili cultures.

LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC. Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape (C iii, iv, vi) The Champasak cultural landscape, including the Vat Phou Temple Complex, contains a remarkably well-preserved planned landscape more than 1,000 years old. It was contrived to express the Hindu version of the relationship between nature and humanity, using an axis from mountain top to river bank to lay out a geometric pattern of temples, shrines and waterworks extending over some 10 km. Two planned cities on the banks of the Mekong River are also part of the site as well as Phou Kao mountain, the whole representing a development ranging from the fifth to fifteenth centuries, mainly associated with the Khmer Empire.

MADAGASCAR. Royal Hill of Ambohimanga (C iii, iv, vi) The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga consists of a royal city and burial site, and an ensemble of sacred places. It is associated with strong feelings of national identity, and has maintained its spiritual and sacred character both in ritual practice and the popular mind for the past 500 years. It remains a place of worship to which pilgrims come from Madagascar and elsewhere.

MOROCCO. Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador) (C ii, iv) Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late-eighteenth- century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading seaport, linking Morocco and its Saharan hinterland with Europe and the rest of the world.

POLAND. Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica (C iii, iv, vi) The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica, the largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe, were built in the former Silesia in the mid-seventeenth century, at a time of religious dispute following the Peace of Westphalia. Constrained by the physical and political conditions, the Churches of Peace are testimony to the search for religious freedom and a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an idiom generally associated with the Catholic Church.

PORTUGAL. Alto Douro Wine Region (C iii, iv, v) Wine has been profitably produced in the Alto Douro region - using traditional farming methods by traditional landholder - for some 2,000 years. Since the eighteenth century, its main product, port wine, has been famous for its quality throughout the world. This long viticulture tradition has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty that is at the same time a reflection of its technological, social and economic evolution.

PORTUGAL. Historic Centre of Guimarães (C ii, iii, iv) The historic town of Guimarães is associated with the creation of the Portuguese national identity in the twelfth century. It is an exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern township. The town's rich building typology represents the specifically Portuguese development from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, consistently using traditional building materials and techniques.

SPAIN. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape (C ii, iv) The Aranjuez cultural landscape is an entity of complex relationships: between nature and humanity, between sinuous watercourses and geometric landscape design, between the rural and the urban, between the carefully regulated treescapes and the architecture of palatial buildings. Three hundred years of royal attention to the development and care of this landscape have seen it express an evolution of concepts from humanism and political centralization, to values such as those found in its eighteenth-century French-style Baroque garden, to the urban living modes which were established side by side with the sciences of plant acclimatization and stock-breeding during the Age of Enlightenment.

SWEDEN. The Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun (C ii, iii, v) The enormous mining excavation known as the Great Pit at Falun is the most striking feature of a landscape that illustrates the survival of copper production in this region since at least the thirteenth century. The seventeenth-century planned town of Falun with its many fine historic buildings, together with the industrial and domestic remains of a number of settlements spread over a wide area of the Dalarna region, provide a vivid picture of what was for centuries one of the world's most important mining areas.

UGANDA. Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (C i, iii, iv, vi) The Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi is a site embracing almost 30 ha of hillside within Kampala. Most of the site is agricultural, farmed by traditional methods. At its core on the hilltop is the former palace of the Kabakas of Buganda, built in 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in 1884. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, the main building, which is circular in plan and dome-like in shape. It is a major example of architectural achievement in organic materials, here principally wood, thatch, reed, and wattle and daub. The site's main significance lies, however, in its intangible values of belief, spirituality, continuity and identity.

UNITED KINGDOM. Derwent Valley Mills (C ii, iv) The Derwent valley in central England contains a series of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century cotton mills and an industrial landscape of high historical and technological significance. The modern factory owes its origins to the mills at Cromford, where Richard Arkwright's inventions were first put into industrial-scale production. The workers' housing associated with this and the other mills is intact and illustrates the socio-economic development of the area.

UNITED KINGDOM. New Lanark (C ii, iv, vi) New Lanark is a small village in a beautiful Scottish landscape where a model industrial society was created in the early nineteenth century by the philanthropist and utopian idealist Robert Owen. The imposing mill buildings, the spacious and well-designed workers' housing, and the dignified educational institute and school still survive to testify to Owen's humanism.

UNITED KINGDOM. Saltaire (C ii, iv) Saltaire, West Yorkshire, is a complete and well-preserved industrial village of the second half of the nineteenth century. Its textile mills, public buildings and workers' housing are built in a harmonious style of high architectural quality and the urban plan survives intact, giving a vivid impression of the philanthropic paternalism of the Victorian age.

UZBEKISTAN. Samarkand - Crossroads of Cultures (C i, ii, iv) The historic town of Samarkand is defined as the crossing and synthesis of world cultures. Developed from the seventh century BC as ancient Afrasiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the fourteenth to the fifteenth centuries. The major monuments include the Registan Mosque and madrasahs, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory.

The 6 natural sites inscribed this year are:

BRAZIL. Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves (N ii, iii, iv) Peaks of the Southern Atlantic submarine ridge form the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and Rocas Atoll off the coast of Brazil. They represent a large proportion of the island surface of the South Atlantic and their productive waters are extremely important breeding and feeding areas for tuna, shark, turtle and marine mammals. The islands accommodate the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the Western Atlantic. Baia de Golfinhos has an exceptional population of resident dolphin and at low tide the Rocas Atoll provides a spectacular seascape of lagoons and tidal pools teeming with fish.

BRAZIL. Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks (N ii, iv) The two sites included in the designation contain flora and fauna and key habitats that characterize the Cerrado – one of the world's oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems. For millennia, these sites have acted as refuges for different species during periods of climate change and will be vital for maintaining the biodiversity of the Cerrado region during future climate fluctuations.

CUBA. Alejandro de Humboldt National Park (N ii, iv) Complex geology and varied topography have led to a diversity of ecosystems and species unmatched in the Caribbean and created one of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on earth. Many of the underlying rocks are toxic to plants so species have had to adapt to survive in these hostile conditions. This unique process of evolution has resulted in the development of many new species and the park is one of the most important sites in the Western Hemisphere for the conservation of endemic flora. Endemism of vertebrates and invertebrates is also very high.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION. Central Sikhote-Alin (N iv) The Sikhote-Alin mountain range contains one the richest and most unusual temperate forests of the world. In this mixing zone between taiga and subtropics, southern species such as the tiger and Himalayan bear cohabit with northern species such as the brown bear and lynx. The site runs from the peaks of Sikhote-Alin to the Sea of Japan and is important for the survival of many endangered species such as the Amur tiger.

SWITZERLAND. Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn (N i, ii, iii) This is the most glaciated region of the Alps, containing Europe's largest glacier and a range of classic glacial features such as U-shaped valleys, cirques, horn peaks and moraines. It provides an outstanding geological record of the uplift and compression that formed the High Alps. The diversity of wildlife is represented in a range of Alpine and sub-Alpine habitats and plant colonization in the wake of retreating glaciers provides an outstanding example of plant succession. The impressive vista of the North Wall of the High Alps, centred on the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks, has played an important role in European literature and art.

UNITED KINGDOM. Dorset and East Devon Coast (N i) The cliff exposures along the Dorset and East Devon coast provide an almost continuous sequence of rock formations spanning the Mesozoic Era, or some 185 million years of the earth's history. The area's important fossil sites and classic coastal geomorphologic features have contributed to the study of earth sciences for over 300 years.

The following are the EXTENSIONS to sites already inscribed on the World Heritage List

Cultural properties

CHINA. Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa 1994/2000/2001 (extension to include the Norbulingka) (C i, iv, vi) The Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the seventh century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration in Tibet. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley, at an altitude of 3,700 m. Also founded in the seventh century, the Jokhang Temple Monastery is an exceptional Buddhist religious complex. The Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama's former summer palace, constructed in the eighteenth century, is a masterpiece of Tibetan art. The beauty and originality of the architecture of these three sites, their ornate decoration and harmonious integration in a striking landscape, add to their historic and religious interest.

CYPRUS. Painted Churches in the Troodos Region 1985/2001 (extension to include the Church of the Transfiguration of the Saviour) (C ii, iii, iv) This region is characterized by one of the largest groups of churches and monasteries of the former Byzantine Empire. The complex of ten monuments included on the World Heritage List, all richly decorated with murals, provides an overview of Byzantine and post-Byzantine painting in Cyprus. They range from small churches whose rural architectural style is in stark contrast to their highly refined decoration, to monasteries such as that of St John Lampadistis.

SPAIN. Mudejar Architecture of Aragon 1986/2001 (former name of site: Mudejar Architecure of Teruel) (C iv) The development of Mudejar art in Aragon resulted from particular political, social and cultural conditions in Spain after the Reconquista, a coexistence of Islamic and Christian societies from the twelfth to seventeenth centuries. This art contains Islamic influences and also reflects various European trends that developed during the same period, particularly the Gothic style. It is characterized by an extremely refined and inventive use of brick and glazed ceramics in architecture, especially in the bell towers.

Natural properties

ECUADOR. Galápagos Islands 1978/2001 (extension to include the marine reserve) (N i, ii, iii, iv) Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these nineteen islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique 'living museum and showcase of evolution'. Ongoing seismic activity and volcanism reflect the processes that formed the islands. Located at the confluence of three oceanic currents, the Galápagos is a 'melting pot' of marine species. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch – that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution following his visit in 1835.

KENYA. Lake Turkana National Parks 1997/2001 (former name of site: Sibiloi/Central Island National Parks – extension to include South Island National Park) (N i, iv) The most saline of Africa's large lakes, Turkana is an outstanding laboratory for the study of plant and animal communities. The three National Parks are a stopover point for migrant waterbirds and are major breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a variety of venomous snakes. The Koobi Fora deposits, rich in mammalian, molluscan and other fossil remains, have contributed more to understanding paleo-environments than any other site on the continent.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION. Volcanoes of Kamchatka 1996/2001 (extension to include Kluchevskoy Nature Park) (N i, ii, iii, iv) This is one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world, with a high density of active volcanoes, a variety of types, and a wide range of related volcanic features. The six sites included in the serial designation group together the majority of volcanic features of the Kamchatka peninsula. The interplay of volcanism with active glaciers forms a dynamic landscape of great beauty. The sites contain high species diversity, including the world's greatest known variety of salmonoid fish and exceptional concentrations of sea otter, brown bear and Stellar's sea eagle.