Chichen Itza
Gebel Berkal

World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Controversial at inscription

Inscription was controversial at the discussions among the members of the World Heritage Committee or their Advisory Bodies

The connection belongs to World Heritage Process connections.

Connected Sites

  • Aapravasi Ghat: ICOMOS was in favour of deferral, some WHC countries found that too harsh and wanted inclusion because of the site's high memorial value. An amendment proposed by the Delegation of the Netherlands finally was accepted.
  • Al Ain: ICOMOS recommended deferral for "further definition of theme and focus", Bahrain/Egypt led a WHC revolt
  • Battir: Needed a secret ballot (11 pro out of 21, 7 abstentions), overruling the ICOMOS advice of not enough OUV and not an emergency
  • Bethlehem: Inscribed after a secret ballot, 13 pro
  • Brasilia: It was a city that was barely 30 yrs old when it was inscribed on the list, and several representatives, notably the american delegate, opposed its inscription, " examination of 20th century cities should come after all the traditional historic towns have been examined"
  • Bridgetown: ICOMOS recommended Deferral - OUV case not made, management issues, factual errors. Cam, Chi Mal, Eti, Tha, Irq, SA ("important for enslaved peoples") et al inc Fra, Brz support. Sui, Rus less convinced but were outgunned!
  • Citadel of the Ho Dynasty: ICOMOS recommended deferral. None of Crit ii, iii and iv justified (though ii might be with more work), core and buffer zone boundaries not good enough, no inventory etc. Egy led proposal for inscription ("similarities with Cairo citadel case". Sui, Aus led against. Inscribed!
  • Coffee Cultural Landscape: ICOMOS recommended Deferral - OUV (v, vi) not proven, comparative analysis needed improvement, boundaries/buffer zones needed improvement, serial approach as selelcted not justified. WHC inscribes with push from Bar, Mex, Brz
  • East Rennell: Land is under customary ownership - which was supported after a considerable debate. The delegate of Thailand dissociated himself from this decision.
  • Fort Jesus: ICOMOS recommended Deferral - proposal needed better justification of OUV, comparative analysis and buffer zone. Nigeria proposed inscription - passed nem con!
  • Genbaku Dome: Reservations expressed by China and disassociation by USA.
  • Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town: Voted in by a secret ballot (12 yes, 3 no, 6 abstentions) after an emergency nomination
  • Koguryo Kingdom: (1) there were some issues concerning the whitewashing of the facts in relation to chinese and korean histories; (2) the korean press accused the chinese of political maneuvering in order to get the dprk's own koguryo nomination deferred so that its own koguryo site will have a greater chance of getting inscribed. ironically, both were inscribed on the list in 2004, and the committee even recommended that a transfrontier site be formed.
  • Konso: ICOMOS recommended deferral -boundaries, integrity, were "unable" to send a mission. Mal, Nig, Egy, RSA, Jor lead for inscription. Sui, Swe et al against. Secret ballot 14/5 in favour with 1 abst,
  • Las Medulas: Thailand, Germany and Finland voted against this 'result of human destructive activities'
  • Loire Valley: Failed once and required a secret ballot on another occasion because of nearby Nuclear plant
  • Meroe: 2011 - ICOMOS recommended Deferral for reasons of comparative analysis, management etc. Brz, Chi, Egy, Eti, Jor, Irq, Mal, Nig, Uae get acceptance of inscription
  • Old City of Jerusalem: Site was proposed by Jordan; it took an Extraordinary Session to get it in (1 vote against (USA) and 5 abstentions).
  • Pitons Management Area: IUCN recommended deferral for criterion i ("whether or not the site meets criterion (i) is premature without further in-depth geological study of the site and the processes that led to its formation"), and rejected criterion iii. Committee went on to inscribe on both i and iii.
  • Preah Vihear Temple: Cambodia leaves Thailand out of it and revises the boundaries of the site to be limited to the monument alone
  • Provins: Several objections ('nothing has remained') started by Greece. Did not result in voting.
  • Saloum Delta: IUCN recommended no inscription - didn't meet any natural criteria - should go for Ramsar/World Biosphere instead. ICOMOS were ok with cultural inscription. Some WHC members supported IUCN, some (e.g SA, Egy) wanted referral, some wanted deferral. Secret ballot 11/10was in favour of referring the Natural nomination for more studies on Bird life.
  • Serra de Tramuntana: ICOMOS recommended deferral. OUV (Crit ii, iv, v and vi) not demonstrated and needed more work. Also needed better comparative analysis and management. Jor led case for inscription on original criteria, Aus, Sui opposed. Egy wanted referral and Mex opposed only Crit vi. Site was inscribed on that basis.
  • Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Controversy between Japan and Korea, about use of forced labor at some of the sites during WWII. Germany mediated behind the scenes to a compromise. Link
  • Um er-Rasas: ICOMOS recommended deferral for "Preparation of a comprehensive management plan ..and having a management system in place; Preparation of proper conservation plan for the whole site; Submitting a comparative analysis for sites of his kind in the region; Justify the Outstanding Universal Value and meeting of criteria.". The WHC members included Egy, Leb, Kuw and Oman
  • W-Arly-Pendjari Complex: IUCN was against inclusion, also controversy about advocacy by the representative from Niger on a site in his own country. Of the 19 members, 4 finally voted against (Australia, Canada, Germany and the United States of America), not enough to prevent a 2/3 majority.
  • Wadi Rum: ICOMOS did not consider that OUV had been demonstrated re Cultural Criteria iii, v, vi and for this and other management related reasons recommended Deferral. IUCN accepted Criteria vii but not viii as demonstrated in the nom file. For this and other management etc reasons IUCN wanted the site referred back. The site was accepted on Criteri iii, v and vii


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Controversial at inscription?

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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source