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2017 WHC - Livestream

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Author Khuft
#331 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 14:40 | Edited by: Khuft 
- Okinoshima: inscription of all components instead of just the ones ICOMOS recommended

Oh, was it? Sure?

Yes. That was when I just joined in - most countries in favour of it ("the site can only be properly understood with all components"; "the other components have intangible value even if they have little authenticity"). That's why the site is inscribed under its original name "Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region" and not the shorter one proposed by ICOMOS.

Author Solivagant
#332 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 14:49 | Edited by: Solivagant 
So - 9 new sites for us this year - 8 from 21 of the new ones and 1 from an extension.
Is it that all those past "hopeful" trips to T List sites have paid off? Well not really -
1 Lake District - We have of course visited 100s of times over the years!
2 Yazd - Added to Iran's T List in 2007 but would have been seen anyway during our tour of Iran in 2016 even if it hadn't been
3 Kujataa - Added to Denmark's T List in 2003 but a trip through Greenland's southern fjords is always going to take it in anyway and we had no choice when we chose our tour to visit the area
4 Pendjari etc - Wasn't added to Benin's T List until 2009 and we visited in 2007
5 Asmara - would have been visited anyway as part of any tour of Eritrea
6 ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape - Only discovered it was on the RSA T List a few weeks ago and visited it 19 years before!
7. Venetian Works of Defense - Only put on T List in 2013 and Kotor had been visited in its own right long before, Bergamo was seen in 2016 but only really because it was a Ryanair flight destination and we needed to stay overnight there! Palmanova was visited primarily because it is on Italy's T List in its own right rather than because we realised it was also on the Venetian site list.
8 Hebron - visited partly because it was on Palestine's T List but more because of its "conflict interest" - had no real expectation of inscription in 2014.
9 Aphrodisias - only visited because it was on Turkey's T List

So - perhaps 1.5 "ticks" arose from visiting T List sites and the rest just from a "lot of travelling" rather than from any "UNESCO targetting"

Author elsslots
#333 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 15:09 
So - 9 new sites for us this year

A very good score I think, congratulations. Shows that in your past travels you've covered many regions well.

I am wondering which of the new WHS will remain little visited. Taputapuātea might be the most difficult of the bunch.

See the ranking now: http://www.worldheritagesite.org/ranking/most+visited+sites (although only few people have updated their counts yet)

Author Solivagant
#334 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 15:22 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Taputapuātea might be the most difficult of the bunch.

I wonder - many years ago we visited Papeete (and Moorea) just as a "no extra flight cost" (apart of course from the very high cost of living in Fr Polynesia!!) stop over on a LHR-LAX-AKL routing - I presume that is still available. Expedia puts a flight from Papeete to Raiatea (for Taputapuatea) at £213 return. More than I would want to pay to see another Marai but some people might be prepared to do so (or swing it on "business expenses"!!).

Author nfmungard
#335 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 15:44 
So, what sites in this year's batch do you think are truly great?

Author Colvin
#336 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 15:46 
The UNESCO website has been updated with the new properties for 2017, though they seem to have forgotten Ahmadabad for the moment.

Author wojtek
#337 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 15:49 
Actually, there are quite a few difficult sites among new inscriptions. if not Taputapuātea , I bet Qinghai Hoh Xil might be the least visited (although, as far as I know, it is not in the province of Tibet, getting there might still be a hassle). Mbanza Congo is obviously difficult, Dauria is not easy too. If Okinoshima was inscribed following ICOMOS advice (i.e. fewer locations), it might also be one of most difficult.

Today I watched live discussion for the first time and have to admit that it was worse than I expected. Not so many arguments and lots (too much) of courtesy. Is it always like that?

Author elsslots
#338 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 15:52 
lots (too much) of courtesy. Is it always like that?

Often, yes.

Author ajoszucs
#339 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 15:58 

Hoh Xil is really not in Tibet, but it is off limits for the general visitors.

As the TravelCHina Guide writes:

As the environment in Hoh Xil is fragile, tourists can enjoy its scenery by driving a car or riding a bike along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway on its eastern edge. You are not advised to go into the central area. When taking the Tibet Railway, you will also have a chance to appreciate this amazing land.

Author Colvin
#340 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 15:58 | Edited by: Colvin 

I'm not sure I can judge whether any of this year's class is truly great, since I have seen none of them. The one I think most people I know would have heard of is England's Lake District. I'm glad to see Art Deco make the list through Asmara, and I'm always happy to see sites inscribed in Oceania, which has not been as well represented as other parts of the world, so I was pleased to see Taputapuātea make the list.

Author Solivagant
#341 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 16:00 | Edited by: Solivagant 
If Okinoshima was inscribed following ICOMOS advice (i.e. fewer locations),

I hadn't really appreciated the possible significance of the "more or fewer" islands issue on this. As I understand it from http://www.okinoshima-heritage.jp/en/visit/ the only way a "tourist" is going to get near Okinoshima is by visiting one of the "lesser" shrines on other islands.
Were these among the additional ones which finally got added despite ICOMOS recommendation?
Without them of course the local tourist industry wouldn't gain much from the inscription - and from such sites as Iwami Ginzan and Tomioka it appears that such a "side benefit" from inscription looms large in Japanese objectives.

Author elsslots
#342 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 16:03 
Were these among the additional ones which finally got added despite ICOMOS recommendation?


Author winterkjm
#343 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 16:25 | Edited by: winterkjm 
So, what sites in this year's batch do you think are truly great?

I don't know if "truly great" is the right word for these sites, but I found them the most interesting and deserving of world heritage status.

Asmara: a Modernist City of Africa
Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap
Kulangsu: a Historic International Settlement
Los Alerces National Park
Qinghai Hoh Xil
Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk
The English Lake District
Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries

Author Solivagant
#344 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 16:42 | Edited by: Solivagant 
So, what sites in this year's batch do you think are truly great?

I think it is the first year since we produced our "Top Missing Sites" (2 previous??) that no site on that List has been added?
I have also tried to ask myself how many of this year's additions would make the "Top 200" List?
So here are my initial thoughts on whether there are any potential "Top 200" sites among them
Unfortunately we seem to have "lost" our previous list sequenced by no of votes so it is a bit difficult (ELS - WAS THIS INTENDED??)

Ahmadabad - NO - a few "Pols" aren't that important!
Aphrodisias - NO - worth being on the list but the top 200 is already well supplied with Classical sites
Asmara - ??? - Poss as the main Art Deco example
Caves and Ice Age Art - NO -the important objects appear to have all been removed!!
Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town ??? Cradle of Judaism? But it can't overtake Jerusalem so I think not
Kujataa - NO - Norse/Inuit is an interesting "niche" subject but no more
Kulangsu - ????? Possible - I don't perhaps know enough about it in detail but the concept seems significant
Lake District - NO - I will not be accused of "Nationalism" and in any case is it really "Top 200" material.
Landscapes of Dauria - NO - Another Steppe - I know of no argument to give it Top 200 status
Los Alerces National Park - NO - fine S Andean NP but not good enough to push out/overtake those further south
Mbanza Kongo - NO - "interesting" example of an African kingdom town during the colonial era but apart from correctly representing this on the list it isn't that significant.
Okinoshima Island - ??? - Could be "special enough"?? Do we have Shinto already represented (no reason of course why there shouldn't be more than 1 - but it is a factor to consider)
Qinghai Hoh Xil - NO - our Top 200 list was always criticised for not valuing Natural sites enough but is this one really strong enough to push its way into "top 200"?
Sambor Prei Kuk - NO - fine Temple but a bit of a duplication?
Sviyazhsk - ???- Looks a fine site but there are aleady a fair number of Russian Orthodox WHS. Is it Top 200 material?
Taputapuātea - NO -worth having on the List but not exceptional
Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver Mine - NO - another mine - We hope to see it later this year but are not expecting a lot
Valongo Wharf - NO - another "slavery" site with mainly "associative value"
Venetian Works of Defence - NO - yet more Forts
Yazd - ?? - worth discussing perhaps but I don't fully buy the three religions argument and how significant is the "desert adaptation" argument. Would need comparing with other cities from around the World which have been added to our Top 200 List
ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape - NO - Not really that different from other S African CLs?

So I see no definite candidates and only 6 which might be worth discussing!!
What do others think?

Author Khuft
#345 | Posted: 9 Jul 2017 16:47 
So, what sites in this year's batch do you think are truly great?

Overall I think this year's batch was quite good. I would go for the following:
- Asmara (art deco / modernist architecture)
- Gulangyu (preserved international settlement in China)
- Kujataa (Norse exploration and Inuit culture)
- Sambor Prei Kuk (Chenla empire)
- Hoh Xil (Tibetan plateau)
- Taputapuatea (Polynesian heritage)
- Lake District (pastoral landscape and association with Romanticism)
- Mbanza Kongo (capital of pre-colonial African kingdom; early colonial heritage)
- Yazd (Zoroastrians, wind towers, Iranian desert city)

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