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India

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Author Solivagant
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#16 | Posted: 2 Feb 2014 07:01 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Some interesting proposals there -I rather like the look of the Padmanabhapuram Palace which unfortunately I missed when in the area.
We did vist the Sivsagar sites when we were in Assam and, whilst not "top rate" they would seem as significant as many sites which get inscribed by other countries.

Warangal was another place of which I was unaware. How is your Telegu?? I was very surprised to find this report by TeleguTV whhich claims that Warangal was "accorded World Heritage city status by UNESCO" back in Feb 2013. Can you explain what they are referring to?
http://telugutv.au.com/2013/02/Warangal-accorded-World-Heritage-city-status-by-ESCO.h tml

I just can't understand this apparent "obsession" with "World Heritage City" status which I come across again and again particularly in relation to India. Viz your own reference to Amber recently - http://www.ovpm.org/en/cities/amber

As I understand it, membership of OHWC is open to any inscribed WHS which pays its dues and can "convince" the organisation that it is a "city". Lots of the members are not really cities at all! I include UK's own "Ironbridge" in this where the town of Telford has joined because of Ironbridge I suspect to give some members of the local council a nice chance of an "overseas jolly" to attend a meeting or 2! A city in DRC (Kashusha) is a member presumably because the Virunga park is nearby! And the "village" of of Andong in Korea is one as well!! I am as equally sceptical of "Amber" being one.

But that doesn't explain how the people of Warangal can claim that it has "World Heritage City" status - any ideas?

Author kkanekahn
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#17 | Posted: 2 Feb 2014 07:54 
Solivagant:
How is your Telegu?? I was very surprised to find this report by TeleguTV whhich claims that Warangal was "accorded World Heritage city status by UNESCO" back in Feb 2013. Can you explain what they are referring to?
Solivagant:

But that doesn't explain how the people of Warangal can claim that it has "World Heritage City" status - any ideas?


Sorry, I do not know Telegu at all. I saw that news last year and also got surprised. But, I assume it was awarded heritage city in India. The tentative list is given in the URL.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-02-28/hyderabad/31107567_1_world-her itage-tag-tentative-list-unesco-list

http://timesofap.com/politics/warangal-accorded-world-heritage-city-status-by-unesco. html

Author kkanekahn
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#18 | Posted: 5 Feb 2014 04:30 | Edited by: kkanekahn 
Chanderi, Mandu, Sanchi (extension), Bedaghat, Orchha, Aravali hills, Kanger valley NP are in the revised tentative list .
http://www.intach.org/pdf/Virasat-Oct-Dec12.pdf
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-12-18/the-good-earth/35889520_1_tent ative-list-unesco-list-world-heritage
Not even famous Colorado river, which flows through the American desert of Arizona lol.
I don't want to compare these. Bedaghat is splendid but Grand canyon is breathtaking.

KVNP's tentative dossier
http://www.kvnp.in/literature-on-kanger-valley-national-park/kvnp-world-heritage-tent ative-list-format

Author Solivagant
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#19 | Posted: 5 Feb 2014 13:28 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Herewith a long document (200 pages!!) on the subject of "World Heritage in India" dated "Winter 2013/Spring 2014" (so pretty new!)
I haven't been able to go through it properly yet but it commences with a 10 page article by the Chairperson of India's "Tentative List Working Group"
Its lists the Zonal Workshops and the Themes referred to by kkanekhan.
It mentions the "original" 238 suggested sites but I haven't as yet found a full list!
I am quite impressed with the methodology so far!! And the final conclusion is just so "perfect" for India!

The other papers seem interesting as well - I am looking forward to reading that on Taxila by a Pakistani representative.

The document can be downloaded from here (Link under the photo of the Issue)
http://dronah.org/issuedeails.aspx?issueid=41

Author Khuft
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#20 | Posted: 5 Feb 2014 13:36 
Thx, Solivagant! Some new bedtime reading....

Author kkanekahn
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#21 | Posted: 5 Feb 2014 14:07 
Solivagant:
It mentions the "original" 238 suggested sites but I haven't as yet found a full list!


Thanx, but it does not include final 57 sites either. I am anxious to know about other sites.

Author winterkjm
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#22 | Posted: 15 Apr 2014 11:50 
Expanding on the idea, first noted at the 2013 WHC, that India does not have success at the WHC because experts in the "West" do not understand Indian culture. Whether one can argue the validity of this or not, it is an interesting development. Can a country request certain experts from specific regions?

"These experts will be from South-East Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore and Hong Kong who are more familiar with Indian monuments than archaeological experts from Europe and the United States. To ensure unbiased scrutiny of these sites, none of the experts will be from India," said a senior official of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, which had submitted the dossier to UNESCO in January this year."

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/unesco-to-scrutinise-delhis-bid-for-heritag e-tag/article5914747.ece

Author Khuft
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#23 | Posted: 15 Apr 2014 13:08 
winterkjm:
South-East Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore and Hong Kong who are more familiar with Indian monuments than archaeological experts from Europe and the United States


Interesting that experts from HK are considered more knowledgeable on Indian monuments than European/American experts... Chinese culture seems to me to be as far away from Indian culture as European culture(s).

Author Solivagant
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#24 | Posted: 15 Apr 2014 13:11 
winterkjm:
Can a country request certain experts from specific regions?


I think it is worth setting up a separate forum on the whole subject of the "Evaluation Process". I will start it with a link to an ICOMOS report of 2010 which reviewed the working methods adopted by ICOMOS in evaluating nominations and reaching recommendations -the report covers issues such as nationality/region of thosr involved. It is in fact far more complex than just those invovled in a field visit. There may be a similaar article on IUCN's evaluation approach as well but I am not aware of it.

As for whther India has suffered from lack of understanding of "Indian culture" by "experts on the West" - I find it quite amusing to read a later paragraph from the article in The Hindu linked to above -
"India's nominations have been rejected in the past because the presentations were not comprehensive. This time, we have even included colourful pictures of the sights with their names in the dossier," said the INTACH official."
So - what has really been missing has been those sets of "colourful pictures"!! I fear not and also fear that the mere fact that this has been suggested demonstrates that the weakness in the process to bring India's Nominations to fruition goes rather deeper and cannot really be laid at the door of "Western experts".

Author kkanekahn
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#25 | Posted: 15 Apr 2014 14:51 | Edited by: kkanekahn 
Solivagant:

As for whther India has suffered from lack of understanding of "Indian culture" by "experts on the West" - I find it quite amusing to read a later paragraph from the article in The Hindu linked to above -
"India's nominations have been rejected in the past because the presentations were not comprehensive. This time, we have even included colourful pictures of the sights with their names in the dossier," said the INTACH official."
So - what has really been missing has been those sets of "colourful pictures"!! I fear not and also fear that the mere fact that this has been suggested demonstrates that the weakness in the process to bring India's Nominations to fruition goes rather deeper and cannot really be laid at the door of "Western experts".


Here I just want to add one point regarding previous nomination (Hill Forts of Rajasthan)
I entirely went through 2013 and 2012 ICMOS evaluation report and WHC Sessions.
In 2012 it is said to include a desert fort and a fort from Marwar region. However all the 3 kind of forts are built on Aravali hills and a desert fort is also not necessary as it has different kind of protection system.
In 2012 WHC session, India also told that there are many difference between cultures of eastern and western Rajasthan. Western Rajasthan is entirely desert area where as eastern part has thick forest. But ICMOS did not consider the difference. It wanted representation of whole terrain and India included a different nomination. So, Western experts sometimes have some problem to distinguish between Indian cultures.

Author Solivagant
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#26 | Posted: 15 Apr 2014 15:00 
kkanekahn:
But ICMOS did not consider the difference. It wanted representation of whole terrain and India included a different nomination. So, Western experts sometimes have some problem to distinguish between Indian cultures.


Out of interest - do we know who (names, nationality, background) did the detailed evaluations of this site (field visit etc) and who were the "experts" contacted as per the ICOMOS process?

Author kkanekahn
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#27 | Posted: 15 Apr 2014 15:05 | Edited by: kkanekahn 
Solivagant:
Out of interest - do we know who (names, nationality, background) did the detailed evaluations of this site (field visit etc) and who were the "experts" contacted as per the ICOMOS process?


Yes, you can find this in UNESCO website (37th and 36th session) as well as ICMOS evaluation report.
I do not want to blame anyone. It is natural for a person not to distinguish different kind of architecture of another region.

Author Solivagant
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#28 | Posted: 15 Apr 2014 16:23 | Edited by: Solivagant 
kkanekahn:
Yes, you can find this in UNESCO website (37th and 36th session) as well as ICMOS evaluation report.

No names or nationalities that I can see in the ICOMOS evaluation. All that is written is
" Consultations.
ICOMOS consulted its International Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage as well as several independent experts.
Technical Evaluation Mission.
An ICOMOS technical evaluation mission visited the property from 23 August to 2 September 2011. "


So no indication of nationality etc of anyone. The ICOMOS policy on this is
"It is ICOMOS policy to choose for technical evaluation missions experts who originate from the region concerned, but not from the country concerned. While thus avoiding situations which could generate conflicts of interest or could be perceived as generating conflicts of interest, this arrangement has the advantage of involving in the evaluation process in the field people who are able to evaluate the conditions of the property in relation to local data"
So, presumably it wasn't only "westerners" who carried out the mission??

If India is "claiming" that only persons from India are capaple of understanding the nuances of its architectural styles then
a. It is not going to get that
b. Perhaps it needs to do a better job initially in explaining the issues in its Nomination papers and in making knowledgeable experts available!

In fact Pakistan got Rohtas Fort inscribed some years earlier with the assiistance of this multi-national group of experts which I believe includes Pakistani nationals -
"Military architecture in the geo-cultural region Central and South Asia: a comparative study by Niels Gutschow, lhsan Nadiem. Abdul Rehman, and Zeki Siinmez (January 1997) and Fort de Rohtas, Pakistan: Etude comparative by Pierre Brun (April
1997). "

Niels Gutchow is German, Zeki Sinmez is, I think, Turkish, Pierre Brun is probalby French and the other 2 probably Pakistani.

Author Durian
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#29 | Posted: 16 Apr 2014 00:53 
Kkhanekhan's post remind me what we discussed in 2013 when Japanese newspaper claimed that westerner evaluator from ICOMOS don't understand Fujisan value. And Solivagant gave his opinion that the OUV should be universal, and I agree that if only locals appreciate the value then it is not able to produce OUV and become WHS.

But I agree with Kkhanekhan that the selection of evaluator is very important. There are many cases that evaluators played important role on success or fail nomination. And I believe ICOMOS knew this concern, after checking this year Japanese site, the evaluator is Chinese who is silk museum curator, not a westerner, even Tomioka silk mill is western styled factory and its industry has french influenced.

Author kkanekahn
Registered
#30 | Posted: 16 Apr 2014 01:51 
Solivagant:
If India is "claiming" that only persons from India are capaple of understanding the nuances of its architectural styles then
a. It is not going to get that
b. Perhaps it needs to do a better job initially in explaining the issues in its Nomination papers and in making knowledgeable experts available!


No, India always want experts from other country. There are may experts(including Europeans) who did detailed research about Indian architecture. India wanted expert who understand this architecture, not who is expert in military architecture.

Doo Won CHO(Korea) evaluated Hill forts. He is active in nominations of Hwaseong Fortress and Namhansanseong. So,I think he is an expert in korean & military architecture

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