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2011 WHC

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Author Solivagant
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#106 | Posted: 28 Jun 2011 17:56 
Assif:
I remember not seeing The Arch of Dan on ICOMOSīreport. Is it possible it too has been withdrawn?


In August 2010 Assif posted

Assif:
I recently came across an official article by the Israel National Park Authority which explains the postponing of the nomination as follows:

The committee feared Arab members would impede the nomination and create a precedence of political interference in the nomination process.

It is weird this appears in an official Israeli website of a national authority whereas all Unesco sources supply different explanations involving conservation issues.


Is this quote from 2010 still the best information available inside Israel concerning the REAL problems which this nomination appears to be facing year after year (since 2009)? Each year we hear that some information is required before it can be inscribed - but the exact nature of that information is never made clear in UNESCO minutes! Nor who has to provide it! It is almost as if no one wants to be precise because such precision would itself be problematic!

What could be meant?

I have just looked at a map/satellite photo of the site and it goes literally within a few meters of the 1949 Israel-Syria armistice line. Now that line was of course "superseded" by the 1967 war. UNESCO would not allow Israel to inscribe any site within areas "acquired" by that war - but as I understand it even the 1949 boundaries were a subject of dispute.

It would seem likely to me that the problem relates in some way to this issue - but nowhere is any clarity provided! Can anyone add anything?

Author Durian
Registered
#107 | Posted: 28 Jun 2011 20:19 
What an unprecedented year, too many deferred sited put forward by WHC to be inscribed, I hope this trend will not continue in 2012. Waiting to see next year nomination list.

Author elsslots
Admin
#108 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 01:40 
Assif:
Iīve been to the Bukovinian residence and also submitted a review

I am sorry - I didn't look. I've transferred it now to the new page!

Author elsslots
Admin
#109 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 01:44 

Author Solivagant
Registered
#110 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 02:27 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Durian:
too many deferred sited put forward by WHC to be inscribed, I hope this trend will not continue in 2012.


But what do these contrary decisions by the WHC indicate?
a. Political/regional/cultural blocs and/or ill informed and biassed WHC delegates making quite unjustified changes to objectively reached and "correct" Advisory Body (AB) recommendations leading to irrational variations between sites regarding the criteria which need to be met for an inscription?
b. Excessive pedantry and nit picking on the part of AB's who grind ever smaller in their evaluations and fail to take on board the "softer" issues which have to be taken into account when determining inscription or not and have quite rightly been "corrected" by the WHC?
c. A perfectly reasonable reflection of the differing roles of the 2 parties (ABs/WHC) which shouldn't be regarded as problematic?
d. A fundamental disconnect between the views of the 2 parties which demonstrates a lack of consensus as to what inscription should be about and the future of the List?

I believe that there is a bit of all of these in the numerous decisions made this year to ignore the AB recommendations and could assign each of them to one or other of the above reasons - but of course that would just be my view! One thing is certain, however - that the WHC should NOT become a rubber stamp for the AB evaluations. Perhaps both parties need to get together to review the "differences" highlighted by the events of this WHC and determine whether and in what way either (or both?) of them needs to change its approach.

Author elsslots
Admin
#111 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 04:54 | Edited by: elsslots 
Solivagant:
d. A fundamental disconnect between the views of the 2 parties which demonstrates a lack of consensus as to what inscription should be about and the future of the List?

This would be my view in general (not just the dispute between WHC - AB's): a lot of the "problems" now derive from the route the List has taken over the years. I guess there might be just about 100 (or 50) truly extraordinary sites in the world. But since they started adding more mediocre sites (and they started doing that relatively early, without the in depth nominations of today), there's just no end.

Two examples from this year's new WHS:
- Fort Jesus: it's essentially a Portuguese fort, of which we already had 14. Is it "better" than the other forts on the List? No - but it certainly is not worse either. It's just a bit different. In the comparative analysises of today you often will see that there's only a difference on a single aspect, for example the building material.
Like stating: "my apartment is different from my neighbour's, as I have had double glazing installed"
In its referral of the site in 2010, ICOMOS suggested also to look beyond the Portuguese context.
- The same argument can be brought forward for Bridgetown versus St. George Bermuda: they are similar in several aspects, have some differences too.

Author winterkjm
Registered
#112 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 10:56 
14 Portuguese Forts!!! That's shocking! From evaluating sites already inscribed, Portuguese fortifications could be considered more important and in need of greater protection than all of the Inca and Aztec sites comnbined? (Inca/Aztec sites total 13) Sorry Europe, you are not THAT important, nor were your civilizations greater than the entirity of world civilizations outside of Europe. Unfortunately, this perception could be gleened from the make-up of the world heritage list.

In my opinion, the EXTREME over representation of European sites endanger the world heritage list more than any other single factor.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#113 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 11:34 | Edited by: Solivagant 
But none of them is in Europe! Rather they have been used by non European countries to gain WHS

Author Assif
Registered
#114 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 12:25 
This again relfects the same problem - that non European countries often estimate their European colonial past more than their more culture specific characteristics or their nature. I am not against colonial sites in general of course. Some of them like the Jesuite missions in Argentina/Brazil/Paraguay/Bolivia or Gore Island in Senegal are even testimonies of special historical cirumstances that evolved as the result of colonialism but were unlike Europe in many respects. However, I do find the current view in many non European countries, namely that colonialism is the best they could offer, highly problematical. To take South America as an example: 25 colonial sites but only 19 natural sites! Other aspects of their culture like their Precolumbian past or their modern history are of course underrepresented.

Author meltwaterfalls
Registered
#115 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 13:06 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Just flipping it over, there is a 'European' site on every continent, but is there one site in Europe that is mainly attributable to an outside influence?

I'm not trying to make a point with that, I was just wondering if there was one.
I'm thinking there is the odd place that may have started as a Phoenician port (Siracuse, perhaps) but they have mostly developed since then, with many other aspects being the reason for inscription. I guess there are other places that may have the odd non-European element, but they are normally 'oddities' in the environment (like a pagoda in a formal garden).

Actually just to answer my own question: Alhambra, Cordoba perhaps Toledo?
I would view these as mostly being inscribed because of 'non-European' elements, though I guess Islam had been established in Europe for a fair few centuries when these places were at their height so are they actually 'European'. I would say they are European, in the sense that they are an integral part of the continent's identity, but that they are demonstrably of an outside influence.

Are there any others that people can think of?
Trebic is inscribed on its strong Jewish heritage, but I would find it hard to argue that this Jewish heritage was not European.

I would like to see the already well represented Western European states taking a slightly more reasonable approach to nominations. I am sure there actually are a few sites that really are of Outstanding Universal Value (Le Corbusier buildings, Scorvegni chapel for example) so I would hope they could focus on these truly outstanding sites and perhaps get 1 site inscribed every 5 years. Instead we seem to get the drafting of exceptionally detailed dossiers on why;
arsenic mining, chestnut groves, agrarian water management or regional examples of ecclesiastical buildings that were dominant in the late 12th and early 13th centuries really should be on the WHL. It is important to preserve these things, but that can be done on a national or regional level, and that can leave the World Heritage List for sites that really do have OUV.

Author elsslots
Admin
#116 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 14:04 
elsslots:
Thailand, Cambodia, Russia and Bahrain - have put their names forward to host the annual meeting of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's WHC in 2012

Russia has Won: Next World Heritage Committee meets in St. Petersburg

Author winterkjm
Registered
#117 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 19:00 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Concerning outside influences in Europe, in Eastern Europe there are quite a few Ottoman WH sites. (Bosnia in particular) Offcourse, this is because the Ottoman Turks conquered a large chunk of Eastern Europe.

Speaking of countries nominating European Colonial sites, there does seem to be a belief amongst many countries that they can succeed at least getting one of their colonial sites inscribed. So far this belief is widely justified.

On the other hand in some countries, colonial sites would never be nominated because of national pride and people who are alive that remember their colonial past. Here I am speaking primarily of East Asian nations. There are numerous Japanese colonial sites in Korea, China, and Taiwan. Some are fairly unique, I toured a old Japanese home, temple, and consulate building in Gunsan, Korea. They were all about 110 years old, and the home and temple were built in the Japanese style, while the consulate was a western style building. All 3 sites are preserved by the gov't, but Korea would never nominate them to Unesco. In fact most important Japanese buildings in Korea were destroyed, some with much fanfare. (Even Japan offered to pay to have the Consulate General building in Seoul moved to Japan, their offer was rejected and the site got the wrecking ball)

Author winterkjm
Registered
#118 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 19:35 

Author Durian
Registered
#119 | Posted: 29 Jun 2011 19:56 | Edited by: Durian 
elsslots:
Russia has Won: Next World Heritage Committee meets in St. Petersburg


quite surprised, but reasonable. After all protest, WHC will not love to grant a second chance to Bahrain, Thailand's exit maybe the automatic withdraw, Cambodia seem to lose it face alot this time after all media report, but WHC may not want to have conflict on Preah Vihear again in next year, so St. Petersburg is a lucky winner!

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