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2014 WHC - Livestream

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Author Durian
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#136 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 05:19 
Maybe they want the 1000th for this year to celebrate and it is a perfect news for media report especially for Qatar international advertisement!

Author Khuft
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#137 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 05:21 | Edited by: Khuft 
Malaysia making a case for inscribing Pyu ancient cities, and adds criterium (iii) on top. Everyone wants Myanmar to have its first site; and India pursues its crusade against ICOMOS.

Author Solivagant
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#138 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 05:28 | Edited by: Solivagant 
How I love "educated" Indian English! The Indian rep has just accused ICOMOS of a "glaring lacuna" in their evaluation - unfortunately few people speak English like that any more in UK!!

Author elsslots
Admin
#139 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 05:31 
Malaysia has proposed an amendment to inscribe

Author Khuft
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#140 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 05:47 
Myanmar's Cambridge professor is quite convincing in explaning why 3 components are necessary, I must say...

Author elsslots
Admin
#141 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 05:49 | Edited by: elsslots 
Khuft:
Myanmar's Cambridge professor

Good idea to let them represent themselves, the English of the Myanmar delegates might be not so good

Author elsslots
Admin
#142 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 06:00 
Lunch break - lots to go this afternoon

Author Khuft
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#143 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 06:01 
And Myanmar has its first site!

Author Solivagant
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#144 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 06:25 | Edited by: Solivagant 
When the dust has settled it might be worth having a discussion on the Forum as to what (if anything) has gone "wrong" with ICOMOS this year

a. Have they come up against a particularly obstreperous WHC - perhaps one in which certain political/interest groupings are too strong, one which doesn't abide by the operational guidelines etc. But why is no-one among the WHC standing out for "principle"
b. Are ICOMOS people just of too "detailed" a mind set who are unable to see wood from trees. One can hardly see ICOMOS recommending something like "This site isn't really ready regarding Management plans but we understand that it might well be better to bring it inside the fold and try to influence things from there rather than cast it out into the wilderness"
c. Are they being asked to do an impossible job - to give professional detailed opinions when many on the WHC don't really want to follow such opinions.
d. Are they trying to cover too much/too many nominations pa. They have been accused on numerous occasions during this WHC of "factual errors" - of putting forward proposals which have "glaring lacuna" even!! I haven't followed up all of the examples where they have been so accused - but some seem to have been unfair. E.g They were accused in the case of Jeddah of not asking for more information when the State Party had already made it perfectly clear that they didn't have such information available so it wasn't worth asking!
e. Have they made the best of their case - they have on occasions looked pretty supine and tongue-tied and haven't really seemed ready to fight their corner. Perhaps the very nature of the WHC forum militates against such arguments - certainly from an "Advisory body". It is all about "diplomacy", "compromise" and favours received and owed!! Not the sort of forum where it is going to be appreciated if an "expert" stands up and says that the honourable representative of Bongobongoland is an idiot who clearly hasn't read/understood the papers!
f. Does it matter? All ICOMOS can do is to try to insert a degree of objectivity into the consideration of nominations - when push comes to shove other matters will always win through. ICOMOS should just try to maintain itself above the grubby fray and not get worried when its recommendations are ignored (even "trashed")!
g. It might be pointed out that IUCN seems to avoid such conflict at least in comparison with ICOMOS -is it that they are "better" or is the nature of Cultural nominations always going to be more fraught than Natural

Author elsslots
Admin
#145 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 06:37 | Edited by: elsslots 
While ICOMOS has difficulty to defend itself, I do blame the WHC members also. Their sole interest it seems is getting their own sites inscribed. If support for others (neighbours, religious brothers) is necessary for that, they comply (as you said favours received and owed). I wonder about the role of Germany for example, they can be and have been very outspoken in previous sessions. There's a lack of "opinion leaders" among the other members: India can be one but does so mainly to bash ICOMOS or point out procedurals errors.

Author elsslots
Admin
#146 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 06:45 | Edited by: elsslots 
The case of Erbil Citadel (my pet project) is an example of unexplainable turn. I have been corresponding this morning with a baffled journalist in Erbil, on why it was inscribed after all. There's just no reason. I spoke about an "Islamic axis" among the committee members, but they are a minority and none of the others did speak up.

WHC members were blinded by the hints of OUV (ancient civilizations, Assyrian, tell etc always seems to score) & seemed sorry for Iraq in general. But I think that everybody that has researched this site and visited it, knows the severe management problems and the lack of will or capability to turn it into something. A strict deferral, as proposed by ICOMOS, was the only right decision.

For committee members nowadays it is enough to have seen OUV: they believe the State Party will take care of the rest. Well, some State Parties just don't.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#147 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 06:57 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I have a similar view about Jeddah. I am "pleased" that I got myself a visited site which is going to be relatively "unusual" but don't believe that the unstoppable wave towards immediate inscription was justified - but the very title of this site "The Gate to Makkah" - changed from its previous one - seemed to act as a rallying cry. I will write more on this when I do a review!

And of course Battir is purely a political act against Israel. It is another visited "tick" for me but (IMO) it doesn't have OUV and lacks proper management etc etc - all things which would have put paid to the aspirations of many far "better"/more worthy sites. Now i am not saying that Israel doesn't deserve to have some "political acts" against it (though whether such an act will achieve anything is another matter) but one had hoped that the WH List might avoid the inclusion of such sites. But that is like believing that the Olympics/sport should avoid politics! It never has and never will. There is no doubt that, as the WH List has gained reputation etc across the last 20 years it has become far more subject to such political inscriptions.

Author elsslots
Admin
#148 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 07:19 | Edited by: elsslots 
Solivagant:
subject to such political inscriptions.

I don't think it's always political-political - Jamaica for example seems to applaud everything achieved by a small or undeveloped country, probably relating to their own situation and hoping for a similar welcome when they propose a site. Some of the countries are just happy for the countries that "get" a WHS. So the sense of pride overcomes the scientific or procedural justification if a site is worthwhile enough in this moment of time.

Author Khuft
Registered
#149 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 07:37 | Edited by: Khuft 
For me the Lebanese delegate best described this year's spirit when he said: "There are 23 Gothic cathedrals already on the List." The delegates seem to view Icomos's expectations on OUV for non-Western sites as totally out-of-synch with their recognition of OUV for Western sites (and let's be fair here: does Corvey really add more to the WH List than eg the Pyu cities or Shahr-e-Sokhta?).

Obviously Western sites have been much more studied, and thus even obscure architectural concepts like the "Carolingian westwork" are found worthy of consideration (even by the Senegalese delegate, if I remember correctly). But where is the equivalent for e.g. South East Asian civilizations? The latter have not been studied nearly as well, but probably exhibit the same specific characteristics related to a certain time period as European civilizations. For me the Pyu discussion was eye-opening in this respect: ICOMOS questions why we need 3 Pyu cities to represent this civilization, but at the same time is happy with having 3 Carolingian sites just in Germany by now... I could understand that WHC delegates are "pissed off" about these double standards.

ICOMOS probably misread the general sentiment: their evaluations this year were much tougher than in past times - at the same time, their evaluations have never been more disregarded than this year. Clearly, their current way of evaluating properties is leading nowhere, and they risk losing whatever influence they still have...

Author elsslots
Admin
#150 | Posted: 22 Jun 2014 07:40 
Khuft:
I could understand that WHC delegates are "pissed off" about these double standards.

This is indeed a noteworthy development. Arabic and South Asian countries have found their voice, and just don't accept this anymore. At the same time, one sees Sub-Saharan sites still struggling.

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