We understood and generally applauded the WHC decision not to inscribe all 19 of the buildings nominated under the "Le Corbusier"
We also noted the suggestion that just 3 buildings be nominated next time (Villa Savoye in Paris, the Unite d'Habitation housing development in Marseille, France, and the Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp). We agreed that many of the other buildings were pretty un-noteworthy other than having been designed by Le Corbusier in person or by him and his "practice". We also know that, for various reasons India has never been able to get its act together re Chandigarh and was not part of the 19 - so that, even though that site could well justify nomination, ICOMOS couldn't really mention it . BUT
- do we understand however why the National Museum of Western Art was not one of the suggested ones? It generally is regarded as being of "significance"? Perhaps it was, indeed, of more merit than the other 15 but, once the list was extended beyond the 3 French locations, it would become difficult to stop!!
However, here is an article ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-mallory/of-universal-value-modern_1_b_879284.html#s 293324&title=Le_Corbusier_Unite
) suggesting that the decision owes something to a reluctance by ICOMOS to accept that the Eurocentric nature of modern architecture will inevitably result in the inscription of "Western" models in non western countries. This issue also relates to another recent forum subject, namely that of "colonialisation" of the List. ( http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&topic=1558
I hadn't perhaps appreciated that inscription of the Museum of Western Art could
be regarded as "praising a building which was created through Europe-based manipulation (the building was commissioned post WW2 and the architect forced to be from the allied nations)."
Presumably this view couldn't be held by Japan which must have rather wanted the inscription of this building since it supported the efforts to get it inscribed? And is it likely that ICOMOS is indeed in thrall to an "anti-colonial" agenda?
Certainly this issue didn't emerge in the WHC discussions, although ICOMOS was under some pressure to justify its stance! The inconsistency for instance was pointed out regarding why Vauban should have 12 examples of his oeuvre inscribed whilst Le Corbusier can only have 3 because to have more was not adding anything!! Were all those extra Vauban inscriptions any different?