d. A fundamental disconnect between the views of the 2 parties which demonstrates a lack of consensus as to what inscription should be about and the future of the List?
This would be my view in general (not just the dispute between WHC - AB's): a lot of the "problems" now derive from the route the List has taken over the years. I guess there might be just about 100 (or 50) truly extraordinary sites in the world. But since they started adding more mediocre sites (and they started doing that relatively early, without the in depth nominations of today), there's just no end.
Two examples from this year's new WHS:
- Fort Jesus: it's essentially a Portuguese fort, of which we already had 14
. Is it "better" than the other forts on the List? No - but it certainly is not worse either. It's just a bit different. In the comparative analysises of today you often will see that there's only a difference on a single aspect, for example the building material.
Like stating: "my apartment is different from my neighbour's, as I have had double glazing installed"
In its referral of the site in 2010, ICOMOS suggested also to look beyond the Portuguese context.
- The same argument can be brought forward for Bridgetown versus St. George Bermuda: they are similar in several aspects, have some differences too.