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2016 WHC

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Author Messy
#331 | Posted: 15 Jul 2016 09:43 | Edited by: Messy 
Istanbul, Turkey, 15 July—The World Heritage Committee, meeting for its 40th session since 10 July, this morning inscribed four new sites in China, India, Iran and Micronesia on the World Heritage List. Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia in the Federated States of Micronesia was inscribed both on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The new sites, in the order of their inscription are:

Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (People's Republic of China)—Located on the steep cliffs in the border regions of southwest China, these 38 sites of rock art illustrate the life and rituals of the Luoyue people. They date from the period around the 5th century BCE to the 2nd century CE. In a surrounding landscape of karst, rivers and plateaux, they depict ceremonies which have been interpreted as portraying the bronze drum culture once prevalent across southern China. This cultural landscape is the only remains of this culture today.

Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda, Bihar (India) – The Nalanda Mahavihara site is in the State of Bihar, in north-eastern India. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal. Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions.

The Persian Qanat (Islamic Republic of Iran)—Throughout the arid regions of Iran, agricultural and permanent settlements are supported by the ancient qanat system of tapping alluvial aquifers at the heads of valleys and conducting the water along underground tunnels by gravity, often over many kilometres. The eleven qanats representing this system include rest areas for workers, water reservoirs and watermills. The traditional communal management system still in place allows equitable and sustainable water sharing and distribution. The qanats provide exceptional testimony to cultural traditions and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate.

Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Federated States of Micronesia)
– Nan Madol is a series of 99 artificial islets off the south-east coast of Pohnpeithat that were constructed with walls of basalt and coral boulders. These islets harbour the remains of stone palaces, temples, tombs and residential domains built between 1200 and 1500 CE. These ruins represent the ceremonial centre of the Saudeleur dynasty, a vibrant period in Pacific Island culture. The huge scale of the edifices, their technical sophistication and the concentration of megalithic structures bear testimony to complex social and religious practices of the island societies of the period.

Author elsslots
#332 | Posted: 15 Jul 2016 11:33 

Author winterkjm
#333 | Posted: 18 Jul 2016 15:53 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Quick breakdown of news following the convention

Kuwait Delegation's role in helping Arab, Islamic, and friendly countries achieve world heritage status.


Regarding the FLW nomination, Referral is perhaps considered the best option for all 10 of the serial properties to have a chance for inscription in the coming years.

http://examiner-enterprise.com/news/local-news/wright-nomination-referred-further-dis cussion

Official website and statement from the Pimachiowin Aki Corporation


Author Solivagant
#334 | Posted: 19 Jul 2016 15:53 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Have just noticed a bit of "rewriting" of history in this year's inscribed list!!!

Since 2012 the Antigua and Barbuda T List has consisted solely of a site titled "Nelson's Dockyard" -this indeed is the name under which the National Park is gazetted in Antigua.

It has emerged in its "inscribed form" however as "The Antigua National Dockyard and associated archaeological sites".
In the admittedly, as yet small, description on the UNESCO Web site all mention of Horatio Nelson has been airbrushed from history!!!
The T List entry was full of details of British Naval heroes! - e.g "famous British naval heroes served in and commanded operations of the dockyard. These include, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, Admiral Vernon, Admiral Hood. Famous naval officers who visited the station include Admiral Collingwood, Prince William Henry (William IV), George V, and others." (See https://web.archive.org/web/20150418013218/http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/56 90/ )

Now the main descriptive aspect is "The construction of the Dockyard by the British navy would not have been possible without the labour of generations of enslaved Africans since the end of the 18th century. Its aim was to protect the interests of sugar cane planters at a time when European powers were competing for control of the Eastern Caribbean." The T List description made ZERO MENTION of slavery or slave labour!

I have absolutely NO problem with Antigua and Barbuda re-casting this site from one of "British Imperial Glory" to a more nationalistic narrative - but is interesting to highlight and note the change which has taken place during the development of the Nomination and to question some aspects of its historical accuracy!!

I wonder about the extent of any use of slave labour to build the harbour. It is not my specialist historical subject but as far as I am aware the slaves on the islands were all pretty occupied being slaves on the plantations rather than being "labourers" for the British Navy!! In those days the British navy didn't exactly treat its ordinary workers and seamen very well either so I am sure there was no bar on the Navy using its poor "press ganged" seamen etc from Britain to carry out such back breaking work as the navy required. But that of course wouldn't fit the desired "narrative".
Antigua was no "comfort posting" in the 18th/early 19th C and many British seamen died there from disease and work as well as from battle.
I will be interested to read the "Historical " parts of the Nomination File to find out more. Els -your "specialist" subject was the Dutch Caribbean world - do you know of any books/sources which might cast more light on how and by whom Antigua English Harbour" got built?
I am afraid I remain suspicious of any mention of "Slavery" in a WHS context. Many of the descriptive and quantitiative aspects of Goree Island in relation to slavery are pure fiction and it has become well known that a mention of "Slavery" is a sure fire way of helping along a nomination!

PS. This article in UK's Daily Telegraph summarising this year's insriptions and providing a photo of many (but not ALL!!!) of them might be of interest. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/lists/new-2016-unesco-world-heritage-sites-how-to-v isit/

Author winterkjm
#335 | Posted: 19 Jul 2016 17:14 | Edited by: winterkjm 
From the Advisory Body Evaluation

"Records exist of enslaved Africans being sent by planters to contribute to the construction and operation of the naval facility, as well as of their main occupations at the Dockyard, which also included serving as soldiers in the Army, in the specially- created West India Regiments."

One element to justify OUV
- the construction of many facilities and the repair works at the dockyards were carried out by enslaved Africans, who were also employed as sailors and for other tasks on ships

"Finally, the contribution in labour and skills of enslaved African workers has proved to be substantial in the construction and operation of the Dockyard. The British Empire and other European powers were heavily dependent upon enslaved labour in their colonies; however, the Antiguan Naval Dockyard and its archaeological remains witness the relaxation of segregation rules in this compound, which were strictly applied elsewhere (e.g. burial sites were mixed and the same goes for hospitals)."

Have just noticed a bit of "rewriting" of history in this year's inscribed list!!!

ICOMOS suggests Criteria (ii)

"Although not originally proposed by the State Party, ICOMOS found that the property had the potential to also meet criterion (ii), on the grounds of the information provided in the nomination dossier but not explicitly incorporated into the justification for the criterion."

In ICOMOS's interim report dated 15 December 2015, following dialogue with the State Party's delegation, it was requested to provide a justification also for criterion (ii).

Criterion (ii): exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;

In the additional information provided by the State Party on 20 February 2016, the State Party holds that the enslaved Africans serving the British navy and army built and worked in the Dockyard facilities in Antigua and in other colonies in several capacities and were crucial for the development of the British Empire's economy, trade and industrialisation. The buildings, facilities and archaeological remains at English Harbour bear witness to their efforts and continue to inspire their descendants.

ICOMOS Conclusions
"This Arsenal gave the British navy a strategic advantage in maintaining control over the Caribbean and the lucrative sugar cane production. Enslaved African workers were crucial in the construction and operation of this Arsenal, as in many others, and thereby contributed to the building of colonial fortunes."

Author elsslots
#336 | Posted: 20 Jul 2016 01:37 
In the history of the TWHS Sanganeb I have: 1983 Deferred - Deferred until receipt of necessary info

This seems a bit odd (and early), and in the 1983 meeting notes I haven't found anything about it. Can anyone verify? Or I will leave it out of the history of the new WHS.

Author Solivagant
#337 | Posted: 20 Jul 2016 03:20 | Edited by: Solivagant 
This seems a bit odd (and early), and in the 1983 meeting notes I haven't found anything about it. Can anyone verify?

It is correct.
In those early days the Bureau meeting carried out a first vet of all nominations and i remember going through all of them when we first "created" these nomination histories. Deferrals etc from those meetings then never appeared in the WHC itself. The Report of the Rapporteur from the 1983 Bureau meeting in Paris records the decision/request - http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/07BUR/documents/

Add to "more than 10 years to inscribe" - also Sydney Opera House which got missed out from this Connection for some reason.

Author winterkjm
#338 | Posted: 20 Jul 2016 08:48 | Edited by: winterkjm 
I am afraid I remain suspicious of any mention of "Slavery" in a WHS context.

Solivagant, did you find any other info on the Antigua "Nelson" Dockyards? Based on the Advisory Report, it does seem like this criteria and justification came from ICOMOS, but I may have been wrong when interoperating the info.

Did the Antigua nomination dossier include anything about the sites connection with slavery?

Author Colvin
#339 | Posted: 20 Jul 2016 09:22 
Here's an article from the US mentioning the newly inscribed sites, as well as the decision to refer the Frank Lloyd Wright nomination at the shortened 2016 WHC session.

Author elsslots
#340 | Posted: 20 Jul 2016 11:17 | Edited by: elsslots 
Did the Antigua nomination dossier include anything about the sites connection with slavery?

We don't have the full file, only the executive summary. In it, the word 'slave' appears once: "The continued use of the Dockyard today by the charter yacht industry as a place of repair, provisioning and hurricane shelter, and of its workforce of highly skilled craftsmen, the descendants of British sailors and enslaved Africans make up a continuing cultural landscape."

As to who built the Dockyard the text is vague, not much more than "established by the British navy"

Author elsslots
#341 | Posted: 20 Jul 2016 11:48 
It is not my specialist historical subject but as far as I am aware the slaves on the islands were all pretty occupied being slaves on the plantations rather than being "labourers" for the British Navy!!

It's somewhat my specialist subject (for my MA in History I wrote a thesis about slavery on Curacao). Remarkable in Curacao was that many slaves worked in 'jobs', like private servants, labourers, craftsmen and government employees. These 'city slaves' had some freedom to move around. Curacao was a different kind of colony than Antigua (more of a trading post instead of a sugar producing center), but I believe it was quite common to have slaves do all kind of jobs.

Author Solivagant
#342 | Posted: 20 Jul 2016 14:05 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Solivagant, did you find any other info on the Antigua "Nelson" Dockyards? Based on the Advisory Report, it does seem like this criteria and justification came from ICOMOS

Thanks for the info winterkjm. As Els says, the full Nomination File isn't available yet. I have done a bit of Googling re the history of English Harbour/Nelson's Dockyard and it does appear that some use of slave labour did occur during the construction. Also, as Els says re Curacao, the role of "Slaves" in W Indies covered a wide range of situations.
I think the issue here is not "whether" slaves were used but the extent to which the "narrative" which supports the nomination has been directed to tell a particular cultural story whose prominence is perhaps not fully justified. And, if it has, then that is not a criticism of Antigua and Barbuda but something to note and comment on!!.

Author winterkjm
#343 | Posted: 22 Jul 2016 11:01 | Edited by: winterkjm 
This article on Antigua's 1st WHS pertains to our discussion/research here.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/caribbean/antigua-and-barbuda/articles /unesco-world-heritage-site-nelsons-dockyard-britains-colonial-legacy/

Here is a great collection of photos (including short descriptions) of this years 21 new world heritage sites.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/unesco-new-world-heritage-sites_us_578ffd4ae4b0bd ddc4d3126c

Author elsslots
#344 | Posted: 28 Jul 2016 01:29 
Almost a week after I wrote the blog post about the new WHS, 17 out of the 21 sites now have been ticked by WH travellers.
See http://www.worldheritagesite.org/allvsites2016.php .
So that's 2 more:
- Sanganeb (by Bram de Bruin, see his review and photos)
- Archipiélago de Revillagigedo (by Don Parrish, specialist in anything remote)

Author meltwaterfalls
#345 | Posted: 9 Aug 2016 08:12 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Just popped into Dezeen for a browse and it looks like they have a series of articles on the recently inscribed le Corbusier buildings, which may be worth a browse if anyone is interested.

I haven't had a chance to read through them yet, but they look interesting, I want to dig into the one on Immeuble Clarté because I found it pretty underwhelming if I'm being honest.

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