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World Heritage is the official UNESCO publication from the World Heritage Centre featuring in-depth articles on cultural and natural World Heritage sites. The quarterly review is produced in English, French and Spanish.

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n°104 - September 2023

World Heritage

The extended 45th session of the World Heritage Committee begins in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we express our gratitude to our hosts for convening the first in-person Committee since the onset of COVID-19. Surrounded by old ...

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n°103 - November 2022

50th anniversary to the World Heritage Convention

It is a great pleasure for me to share this 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention celebration with you. Over the past five decades, the World Heritage Convention has ...

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n°102 - June 2022

The private sector pitches in

World Heritage sites require an enormous number of resources for their protection. Conservation needs are met in different ways by governments, vibrant communities, or donors of many ...

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n°101 - January 2022

New World Heritage sites 2020-2021

This year we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention: a unique legal instrument that protects both both cultural and natural heritage. Because of this, the ...

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n°100 - October 2021

Climate Change

Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and among the greatest threats facing cultural and natural heritage today. One in three natural sites and one in six cultural heritage sites are currently threatened by ...

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n°99 - July 2021

Special Issue - World Heritage in China

It is a great pleasure to meet for this extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee to be held from 16 to 31 July 2021 in Fuzhou, China and online. As China is home to a ...

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n°98 - April 2021

Monitoring World Heritage from Space

Observing heritage sites from space for the sake of preservation has a long history. In the early 1920s, scientists were already using aerial photographs to map archaeological sites and ...

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n°97 - May 2021

People Protecting World Heritage

The World Heritage Convention was created in 1972 – nearly half a century ago – as a legal instrument to protect our most outstanding cultural and natural sites around the world. It has ...

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n°96 - December 2020

World Heritage and Biodiversity

We are pleased to bring you this issue on biodiversity and World Heritage sites, focusing on some of the properties most vital to the future of our planet. These articles were prepared ...

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n°95 - July 2020

Interpretation and COVID-19

The year 2020 began with an unprecedented health crisis that has affected each one of us, and we still cannot predict its long-term effects. Not only have we been touched in our ...

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n°94 - January 2020

New World Heritage sites 2019

The 1972 World Heritage Convention is truly unique. It is the only legal instrument conceived to protect both cultural and natural heritage, based on the principle of Outstanding ...

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n°93 - November 2019

The Silk Roads

The Silk Roads encompass some of the most complex and fascinating systems in the history of world civilizations. A shifting network of roads and pathways for trade that evolved over centuries, it enabled the exchange of cargo ...

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n°92 - July 2019

Special Issue - World Heritage in Azerbaijan

I am particularly pleased that the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan. We are very grateful to our generous hosts for organizing this session ...

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n°91 - May 2019

Walled cities

Historic urban walls were once used for division and protection, and remain a legacy of the complex relations between people and their environment. Today, they represent a fascinating aspect of cultural heritage management. ...

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n°90 - January 2019

World Heritage Success Stories

The World Heritage Convention is a legal tool. In adhering to it, countries commit to protect heritage within their borders and to refrain from any deliberate measures that might damage ...

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n°89 - October 2018

World Heritage and Wetlands

Wetlands are an essential, but often overlooked, aspect of our natural environment. They are vital sources of biodiversity and take many different forms – from lakes, rivers and swamps, ...

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n°88 - June 2018

Special Issue - World Heritage in Bahrain

This year, for its 42nd session, the World Heritage Committee is hosted by Bahrain in its capital city of Manama. Bahrain has long dedicated its support to the World Heritage ...

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n°87 - April 2018

World Heritage and illicit trade

The illicit trafficking of cultural objects depletes cultures of their identity and contributes to lucrative unlawful trade, which helps to finance terrorism and organized crime. It is ...

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n°86 - January 2018

World Heritage and Reconstruction

While conflicts continue to inflict damage – much of it intentional – on heritage sites, reconstruction becomes a critical topic for discussion. The recovery, rehabilitation and ...

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n°85 - October 2017

World Heritage and Modern Heritage

Modern heritage – the architecture, town planning and landscape design of the modern era, or the last two hundred years or so – is still underrepresented on the World Heritage List. And ...

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n°84 - July 2017

Special Issue - World Heritage in Poland

This year, the World Heritage Committee will meet for its 41st session in the World Heritage site of the Historic Centre of Kraków. We are very pleased to be hosted by Poland, an early ...

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n°83 - April 2017

Museums and visitor centres

Thousands of museums are located in and around World Heritage sites. Site museums preserve the integrity of the sites through conservation efforts, but also enhance interpretation and ...

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n°82 - December 2016

African Heritage and its sustainable development

In this issue we are pleased to focus on the heritage of Africa and its sustainable development. The diversity and wealth of African heritage is extraordinary, from its large-scale ...

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n°81 - September 2016

World Heritage and Urban Heritage

Cities are among the most quickly evolving environments on the planet. Over half of the world’s population lives in cities today, and knowing how to manage these urban areas as they ...

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n°80 - July 2016

World Heritage in Turkey

The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee is taking place in Istanbul from 10 to 20 July 2016, and we are extremely grateful to Turkey for generously hosting this session. Turkey is a country at the crossroads between ...

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n°79 - April 2016

Planet at the Crossroads

From 1 to 10 September 2016, thousands of leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business and academia will gather together in Honolulu (Hawaii) to share ideas on how to improve the ...

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n°78 - February 2016

World Heritage and gender equality

It is increasingly recognized that culture has an essential role to play as a driver of sustainable development, contributing to the eradication of poverty and enhancing social ...

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n°77 - October 2015

Climate Change

The network of World Heritage properties was inter alia intended to ensure the proper preservation of the natural and cultural values of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. Today, as the planet finds itself confronted ...

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n°76 - June 2015

World Heritage in Germany

The annual session of the World Heritage Committee is a crucial period for the Convention, and we are grateful to Germany for hosting us this year. The 39th session of the Committee is taking place as we celebrate the 70th ...

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n°76.5 - June 2015

Special Issue on Iraq

Cultural World Heritage sites are representative of the creativity and genius of humanity. While World Heritage belongs to everyone, and we share the responsibility to protect it, each site embodies the history, values, ...

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n°75 - April 2015

Culture - Nature Links

This special issue of World Heritage is about interlinkages between nature and culture. One of the defining characteristics of the World Heritage Convention is that the governance of both natural and cultural values of ...

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n°74 - January 2015

World Heritage: Fostering resilience

Table of contents In focus Fostering resilience: Towards reducing disaster risks to World Heritage, p. 4World Heritage sites are exposed to a wide variety of natural and ...

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n°73 - November 2014

World Heritage and our protected planet

The IUCN World Parks Congress meets every ten years, and its November 2014 meeting may prove to be a turning point for protected areas in offering and implementing solutions for the ...

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n°72 - June 2014

Special Issue - World Heritage in Qatar

Each year, the special issue of World Heritage coinciding with the annual World Heritage Committee session gives us the opportunity to focus on the heritage of a particular country or ...

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n°71 - April 2014

World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism

The World Heritage Convention arose from the need to identify and protect outstanding natural and cultural sites for future generations. Over time, the effectiveness of the Convention ...

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n°70 - December 2013

Synergies to Protect Sites

At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed that the conservation of biodiversity was one of the cornerstones of sustainable development. They acknowledged that the world was facing an unprecedented wave ...

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n°69 - October 2013

World Heritage agricultural landscapes

Agricultural landscapes are a testimony to humanity’s long interaction with the land, often unique examples of people and nature coexisting and influencing each other. They demonstrate ...

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n°68 - June 2013

World Heritage in Cambodia

The 37th session of the World Heritage Committee will be held from 16 to 27 June 2013 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This issue explores in the depth the sites of Angkor, one of the most important archaeological sites in ...

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n°67 - April 2013

World Heritage and Best Practices

Table of Contents In Focus World Heritage: cooperation, communication and capacity buildingThe inscription of a site can result in specific preservation challenges, making skilled ...

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n°66 - February 2013

Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are islands of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. The UNESCO World Heritage Programme for Small Island Developing ...

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n°65 - October 2012

Sustainable Development

The issues of World Heritage published during 2012 have largely been devoted to commemorating the adoption of the World Heritage Convention forty years ago, in 1972. This has not been a self-congratulatory exercise but rather ...

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n°64 - June 2012

World Heritage in the Russian Federation

We are happy to publish this special issue dedicated to the World Heritage sites of the Russian Federation on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, ...

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n°63 - May 2012

World Heritage and outstanding natural beauty

Table of contents Scenic natural beauty How can it be judged? The sites inscribed under criterion vii, known commonly as having the “wow” effect, are more than just stunning ...

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n°62 - February 2012

World Heritage and Indigenous Peoples

This edition of World Heritage is devoted to the enduring relationship between a number of World Heritage sites and the indigenous peoples that inhabit them. For historical, cultural ...

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n°61 - October 2011

World Heritage Forests

Forests, like mountains and oceans, play a critical role in the balance of world climate (as well as in vital carbon capture and retention) and thus in the survival of our species, hence the United Nations’ decision to ...

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n°60 - June 2011

World Heritage in the Gulf Region

This special issue is devoted entirely to World Heritage sites belonging to members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. It thus offers a unique opportunity to ...

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n°59 - March 2011

Living with Water

Water: its role in human evolution. World Heritage sites offer a wide spectrum of water elements, from glorious water gardens to spectacular aqueducts, grand transport canals to ingenious water mills. This display of human ...

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n°58 - November 2010

Part threat, part hope The challenge of tourism

What are the benefits of World Heritage List inscription? When it brings higher visibility and increased tourism to a site, how can the site still be protected? Issue 58 of our ...

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n°57 - July 2010

World Heritage in Brazil

Initially protected by the broadest expanses of virtually impenetrable tropical rainforest on Earth, Brazil still takes prides in a stunning variety of species found nowhere else. With giant snakes such as the anaconda, ...

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n°56 - June 2010

World Heritage Review n°56 Biodiversity

There was a time when the world appeared boundless and inexhaustible. We are just beginning to realize that it is both limited and surprisingly vulnerable. It follows that if we are to ...

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n°55 - March 2010

World Heritage Cities

Table of Contents In Focus Revising the approach to urban conservation The capacity of historic cities to accommodate and benefit from the radical and rapid changes that accompany urban growth while maintaining heritage ...

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n°54 - October 2009

Astronomy and World Heritage

Table of Contents Astronomy and World Heritage Astronomical heritage, or cultural heritage relating to the sky, recognizes the relationships between humanity and the cosmos. From ...

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n°53 - June 2009

World Heritage in Spain

Spain, with its long, complex history and the global character of its territorial and cultural extension, remains marked by a striking diversity of historical influences and regional differences, and it justifiably prides ...

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n°52 - May 2009

Earth heritage : A common past… and future

This issue of World Heritage is devoted to a number of truly extraordinary World Heritage sites that allow a better understanding of the history of the Earth and the formation of ...

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n°51 - December 2008

World Heritage n°51

The greater part of this issue is devoted to the reinstallation of the great stele of Aksum in Ethiopia, an exploit that ranks alongside such major UNESCO achievements as the safeguarding and restoration of the temples of Abu ...

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n°50 - June 2008

Special Issue: Canadian World Heritage

The 14 World Heritage sites of Canada presented in this issue offer a fascinating pattern. Indeed, they reflect key aspects of the evolution of the very concept of World Heritage over ...

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n°49 - April 2008

World Heritage and Biodiversity

A number of World Heritage routes have played a significant part in the history of the five continents – and the way we focus on them in this issue illustrates how far our ...

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n°48 - January 2008

Earthen Architecture

At some time during the past one hundred years or so, the great, multimillennial tradition of earthen architecture, which even today is a dominant technique in every world civilization, fell victim to the Modern Ideal. Being ...

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n°47 - October 2007

World Heritage n°47

In Focus New World Heritage sites 2007 Twenty-two sites were added to the World Heritage List during the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee held in Christchurch, New Zealand, bringing the total of ...

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n°46 - June 2007

World Heritage n°46 Special issue: World Heritage in New Zealand

Special issue on World Heritage sites in New Zealand, at the occasion of the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee held from 23 June to 2 July in ...

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n°45 - March 2007

World Heritage n°45

In Focus Exploring the Spice Route The Spice Route linked the Mediterranean basin to the Far East for over 2,500 years. (p.6) Trade Routes of the Desert A journey across the desert trails of the empires of antiquity. ...

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n°44 - November 2006

World Heritage Review n°44

This quarterly magazine in English, French and Spanish features in-depth articles on World Heritage sites around the world and superb photographs, as well as the latest news in preservation. Table of Contents In ...

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n°43 - July 2006

Special issue: World Heritage in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Special issue on World Heritage sites in the Baltic region, at the occasion of the 30th session of the World Heritage Committee held from July 8-16 in ...

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n°42 - June 2006

Climate change

Discover the new look of World Heritage, our quarterly magazine in English, French and Spanish featuring in-depth articles on World Heritage sites around the world and superb photographs, as well as the latest news in ...

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n°41 - October 2005

World Heritage Review n°41

New World Heritage Sites CITY OF BATH, A Masterpiece of Town Planning THE KII MOUNTAINS, Harmony between Spirit and Nature LEPTIS MAGNA, Imperial City in Africa PURNULULU NATIONAL PARK, A Geological Wonder

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n°40 - July 2005

Special Issue - South Africa

Special Issue - South Africa Message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO uKhahlamba/Drakensberg Park, Protecting 'the Roof of Africa' World Heritage on the ...

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n°39 - March 2005

World Heritage Review n°39

The Silk Road: the longest trade route in human history Central Sikhote-Alin: a natural site in the Russian Federation and a refuge for many endangered species The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga: an important centre of worship ...

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n°38 - December 2004

World Heritage Review n°38

Dubrovnick Restored Spectacular Yosemite Valparaiso, a Window on the Pacific The Frankincense Trail

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n°37 - September 2004

World Heritage Review n°37

Saving natural sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo World Heritage Focus: partnerships for conservation The outstanding architecture of the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Kazakhstan The Guanacaste ...

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n°36 - June 2004

World Heritage Review n°36

Special issue China Imperial Sites and Gardens Natural Wonders Mastery of Water Footprints of Faith Discovering Ancient Cities

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n°35 - April 2004

World Heritage Review n°35

Quebrada de Humahuaca. A Link through the Andes Vineyards. How Wine-growing Shaped the Landscape Djenné. Sumptuous Earthen Architecture Wooden Churches of Southern Little Poland Persepolis. Capital of an Empire

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n°34 - January 2004

World Heritage Review n°34

Protecting The Amazon Úbeda and Baeza, Renaissance Towns Ancient Ksour of Mauritania Kew Gardens, Treasure House of Botany My Son, Destruction and Rebirth

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n°33 - October 2003

World Heritage Review n°33

Life of the Buddha in World Heritage New Sites on the World Heritage List Belize Coral Reef Cinque Terre Mesa Verde National Park

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n°32 - August 2003

World Heritage Review n°32

Goias: a Jewel on Brazil's Rio Vermelho Mount Kenya National Park Kasbah of Algiers: a Demanding Restoration Rhodes: the City of Knights

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n°31 - June 2003

World Heritage Review n°31

Borobudur, The Glory of Buddhist Art Baku, City on the Silk Road Robben Island, a Monument to Courage Redwood park, Mother Nature's Cathedral

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n°30 - April 2003

World Heritage Review n°30

Three Centuries of Saint Petersburg The Smoke that Thunders Victoria Falls Wooden Buildings of Ancient Nara Living with a Volcano Antigua Guatemala Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí

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n°29 - March 2003

World Heritage Review n°29

Minaret of Jam Cuzco Centre of the Andean World Lamu Coral garden of the Swahili East Rennell a Pacific gem Paramaribo

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n°28 - January 2003

World Heritage Review n°28

Industrial Heritage in the United Kingdom Kairouan a Muslim Holy City Rainforest Sites on the Australian Continental Plateau Kazan and its Tatar Kremlin Monte Alban Mexico's first city

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n°27 - December 2002

World Heritage Review n°27

The Slave Route New World Heritage Sites Quseir Amra and its fresco paintings Gunung Mulu National Park Jesuit Missions of Córdoba Old City of Acre

Quarterly magazine published jointly in English, French and Spanish, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, France and Publishing For Development Ltd., London, United Kingdom.

Editorial Director: Mechtild Rössler (Director, UNESCO World Heritage Centre) Editors: Gina Doubleday, Helen Aprile
Co-Publisher: Richard Forster Production Editor: Caroline Fort Copy Editors: Cathy Nolan (English), Chantal Lyard (French), Luisa Futoransky (Spanish) Editorial Board: UNESCO World Heritage Centre: Isabelle Anatole-Gabriel, Frédérique Aubert, Guy Debonnet, Feng Jing, Muhammad Juma Muhammad, Mauro Rosi, May Shaer; UNESCO Publishing: Ian Denison
ICCROM: Joseph King; ICOMOS: Regina Durighello; IUCN: Tim Badman
Advertising: Efrén Calatrava, Fernando Ortiz, Fadela Seddini, Peter Warren

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