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2009 WHC

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Author Durian
#31 | Posted: 1 Jun 2009 20:23 | Edited by: Durian 
News on this year nomination from Peru: Caral - Supe

They seem to be very confident that Caral-Supe will be put in the list.

Author Solivagant
#32 | Posted: 3 Jun 2009 03:41 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Things seem to have gone a bit quiet on the "News front" regarding this year's nominations. I guess that those countries which were going to "leak" the news have already done so immmediately they were told. Herewith a summary of the current position on the 30 proposed new sites. Keep looking - as the WHC approaches, some other sites will have to "break cover" as their countries decide to withdraw them for instance!!
The Hälsingland report indicated that only a little over a third of sites received an Advisory Body recommendation. If this is correct there must still be around 13 rejects among the 19 sites with "no news" giving maybe 6 to add to the 6 already thought likely/known to be positive (= 12 +ive out of 30 say). If the WHC went along with all this then around 12 new sites would be the lowest number of new inscriptions since 2002 which had 9.

(PS Figures etc adjusted following Els's comment and IUCN link below)

1. Wadden Sea (Ger, NL) – IUCN OK
2. Dolomites (It) - IUCN OK
3. Dinosaur Coast (Kor) - IUCN No
4. Lena Pillars (Russ) – IUCN presumed NO as Web site states only 2 sites accepted
5. Le Corbusier (Arg, Bel, Fr, Ger, Jap, Switz) – ICOMOS No
6. St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk (Belarus) – No News
7. Stoclet (Bel) – No News
8. Jajce (Bos/Herz) – No News
9. Paraty (Braz) – No News
10. Loropéni (Burk Fas) - No News
11. Cidade Velha (CV) – No News
12. Mt Songshan (Chin) – No News
13. Grand-Bassam (C d'Iv) – No News
14. Mikulčice (Cz, Slovaki) – No News
15. Causses and Cévennes (Fr) – No News
16. Schwetzingen (Ger) – ICOMOS No
17. Shushtar (Iran) – No News
18. Triple-arch Gate at Dan (Isr) – No News
19. Langobardorum. (Italy) – ICOMOS OK
20. Sulamain-Too (Kyrgyz) – No News
21. Mercury and Silver Binomial (Mex, Sloven,Sp) – No News
22. Caral-Supe (Peru) ICOMOS – positive indics?
23. Joseon Tombs (Korea) – ICOMOS OK
24. Tower of Hercules (Spain) – No News
25. Hälsingland (Sweden) – ICOMOS No
26. La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switz) – ICOMOS OK
27. Pontcysyllte (UK) - No News
28. Mount Wutai (China) – No News
29. Lonjsko Polje Nature Park (Croatia) – No News
30. Orheuil Vechi CL (Moldova) – No News

No News - 19
OK/ +ive - 6
No/Def/Ref - 5

Author elsslots
#33 | Posted: 3 Jun 2009 13:06 
I think there's a Yes on the Wadden Sea: IUCN

Author Solivagant
#34 | Posted: 3 Jun 2009 15:00 | Edited by: Solivagant 
So, are you going to review Waddenzee for us Els? I assume that, like all (??) Dutch, you have been there for Wadlopen and will be adding it to the "sporting location" Connection!

Author m_m
#35 | Posted: 3 Jun 2009 22:14 
I think there's a Yes on the Wadden Sea: IUCN

so does this mean that IUCN has also not recommended the mixed sites for their natural values? this will be interesting since it could lead to china having two cultural sites listed if icomos approved, which will be against the current nomination rule of having at least one of the max 2 sites as either natural or mixed. although of course, china could argue that it's not their fault since they originally nominated a cultural and a mixed site. if 2 cultural sites are indeed listed, then this could be a loophole in the rule. some countries could try nominating 2 cultural sites per year, and just dress one of the nomination as a mixed site to get by the rules.

Author Solivagant
#36 | Posted: 4 Jun 2009 02:27 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Do we know of any past occasion when a site nominated as "Mixed" has been accepted on the basis of being simply a Cultural (or Natural) Site on the basis that the other "type" has been rejected by the appropriate advisory body (AB)?

I don't and wouldn't have thought it was acceptable to change the nature of the site part way through evaluation on the basis of rejection by 1 of the ABs! The most that might happen is that it gets deferred (or withdrawn?) whilst the State party decides whether to progress on a different basis. However there are numerous examples of the criteria being sought being changed part way through as a result of AB recommendations but the ones I can think of have always been within 1 set (ie Natural or Cultural) of criteria? However, a site only has to demonstrate 1 criterion so it doesn't have to be a "killer" if others are rejected - so, in "pure logic", if a site is nominated as "mixed" on say 2 natural and 2 cultural criteria and succeeds on just 1 of the cultural then it could still be inscribed as a cultural site.

But of course rejections etc don't happen solely (or even mainly) on the criteria - more normally on matters of boundary, management plans etc etc. Would it be likely that 1 AB would find these aspects satisfactory whilst the other doesn't. It is possible in theory at least I guess :- You could imagine a "mixed site" with archaeological aspects within a National Park. ICOMOS might consider that the archaeological aspects are well looked after etc but IUCN might think that the natural aspects are at risk for reasons unconnected with the archaeology?

This raises a corollary - is a mixed site evaluated to exactly the same standard for each of its Natural/Cultural, management, authenticity etc etc aspects as would be the case for a site being evaluated as purely Cultural or Natural?

If the bar is set at exactly the same level on all aspects for a Mixed site one wonders why States go for mixed sites since these would just complicate matters and make failure more likely! They must surely hope/expect that going for "more" apects means that the level expected of each aspect is (slightly?) less or that the accumulated "weight" of "value" across many aspects eventually overcomes the low values of individual ones! There is of course "national pride" in going for mulltiple aspects ("Our site is inscribed on more than ... etc) but the better strategy would seem to be to choose one's strongest aspect, go for that first and then add later.

How many sites have
a. added criteria after inscription
b. added a natural criterion to Cultural ones (or v.v.)
If so why did they do it? There is the "National Pride" aspect but one must also look at pure and genuine concern for preservation I guess.

UK added Cultural criteria to St Kilda's original natural ones a few years ago. Did it really believe that adding these would lead to their better preservation when they already sat within an environment totally preserved for its Natural aspects?. In any case do developed countries like UK really go for inscription to ensure better protection of their sites? ...... But that raises a whole different set of issues!

Tongariro is another site which has had cultural criteria added to its originally inscribed natural ones. The reason for that is much clearer - it helped demonstrate NZ recognition of the value of Maori culture.

Any others?

Author Durian
#37 | Posted: 5 Jun 2009 08:39 
News from Sarajevo: UNESCO and ICOMOS say NO for Jajce

Author Solivagant
#38 | Posted: 5 Jun 2009 16:47 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The authorities at A Coruna seem very confident about the chances of Torre de Hercules if this newspaper report about the planned activities in the city leading up to the "vote" are anything to go by!! (in Galician)
It would be a big let down for the party if it is rejected - and, as "Host" of the WHC meeting in Seville, Spain would expect to get "something" out of the whole affair so it seems it is either this or the Mercury/Silver "Binomial" - or both?

From a whole series of blogs and other postings this seems to have been a very well supported and developed application dating back to around 2001 through to 2006 when it was chosen as 1 of Galicia's 2 nominations to Madrid (who then chose it ahead of Ferrol) . It clearly has a strong provincial backing from the Galician "people". A number of the web pages point out Spain's good record in getting sites accepted

The blogs seem to identify its "authenticity" as the main potential achilles heel for the application. Its origins are certainly Roman but claims of "the World's oldest operating lighthouse" are not entirely correct. For many years it was just a degraded ruin, then, in the Middle Ages a fortification, it was reconstructed as a beacon in the 17th century. Today's structure is a complete reconstruction in the form of a neo-classical building from 1791 built around the remains of the Roman lighthouse - some of which can be seen inside.

Also of course the lighting equipment etc is modern. Where ICOMOS will stand on all this I don't know - despite having read all the background papers on "authenticity" I posted in the forum on this subject! Would it have enough value simply in the form of its neo-classical form? Do the Roman remains within and its connection to those times add enough? What about the mythical aspects re Hercules? Remember "authenticity" needs to consider "form and design, materials and substance, use and function, traditions and techniques, location and setting, and spirit and feeling"!!!

Author Xeres
#39 | Posted: 5 Jun 2009 22:01 
Uluru in Australia was another site renominated under cultural criteria. The purpose of that act seems to similar to the New Zealand WHS, to recognize aboriginal culture.
As to the Tower of Hercules (or heracules as the greeks say) I think its pretty much guaranteed that its getting inscribed. UNESCO has a great track record at inscribing sites from the host country as a reward for hosting the conference.
I doubt that they would inscribe a mixed site only on cultural criteria. I think that would go against the whole process, much like if a country nominated an entire mountain range and only got a single mountain inscribed. I think that they would have to refer it and recommend dropping the natural nomination. As much as china would love to find a loophole and nominate two cultural sites per year, they're not going to.

Author Durian
#40 | Posted: 6 Jun 2009 07:37 | Edited by: Durian 
I just have been notice that the famous Shaolin Temple is part of China's Mount Songshan nomination. Do you thing the recent shaolin show at Unesco HQ in Paris has any hidden story for this year evaluation??

Author Durian
#41 | Posted: 8 Jun 2009 08:14 | Edited by: Durian 
Seruwila, Sri Lanka has been Named a World Heritage Site

The Government, along with UNESCO, has taken steps to construct the Seruwila Raja Maha Viharya's Museum, following the announcement that Seruwila has been named a World Heritage Site.An official ceremony was held at the Seruwila Temple on Saturday (08) to declare Seruwila as a world heritage site in a gazette and to initiate work on the Museum. ri-lanka-has-been-named-a-world-heritage-site/+Seruwila,+Sri+Lanka+has+been+Named+a+W orld+Heritage+Site&cd=3&hl=th&ct=clnk&gl=th

From the news Sri Lankan government claimed that UNESCO accepted this extension of Kandy!

PS I fix the link hope you can open this one

Author Xeres
#42 | Posted: 8 Jun 2009 08:46 
is it already a WHS, or just pending final decision later in the month? It's still on the tentative list on the UNESCO website.

Author Solivagant
#43 | Posted: 8 Jun 2009 09:10 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The server for the link given is down and I can find no other confirmation as yet but, if true (and even if not), this nomination has a number of interesting aspects! I hadn't really bothered to investigate it before as I tend just to pass over "extensions" as being of administrative interest only!
a. It has been proposed as an extension of Kandy - but it is a long long way from there on the NE coast near Trincomalee. On Sri Lanka's T List it is shown as a separate site - but I am not sure that T List entries make it clear whether a site is an extension or not.
b. The only connection with Kandy which I can identify is that both sites claim to have a relic of the Buddha - Kandy the "tooth" and Seruwila a "frontal bone". It isn't even as if the 2 temples relate to the same period/architectural style. I am not an expert in Sri Lankan history but, as I understand it, Seruwila is primarily a temple from the 2nd century BC (albeit heavily restored reasonably recently having only been "discovered" in 1922) and relates to the Anuradhapura Period. Kandy is altogether different and the "tooth" reached it in the 16th century when it became the national capital (although legend has it that the tooth had been in Sri Lanka since the 4th century).
c. This is an "interesting" time for a site at Trincomalee to be so recognised as its history and location mean that it is inevitably tied in with the Sri Lankan/Tamil conflict recently "ended" (??). My Insight Guide to Sri Lanka (dated 1984. My Lonely Planet dated 2003 doesn't mention the site at all) states "Both the Tank and the Dagoba are attributed to the 3rd Century BC King Kavantissa. With a classic touch of Buddhist politics he secured the allegience of the buffer state of Seru - at a time when his Ruhana Kingdom was being challenged by the northern Tamil invaders - by presenting a frontal bone of the Buddha for enshrinement in a dagoba in the ancient Seru capital city".
I also quote from a couple of (what were apparently overseas Tamil) web blog entries dated 2007 when it was published that Sri Lanka was going for inscription of Seruwila
"From where did the frontal bone suddenly turn up in Seruwila after ethnically cleansing the Tamils from Thoppur? Will more turn up now that there are other Tamil villages which have been/are being ethniclly cleansed, just like the buddhist temples that have cropped up all over in Tamil areas under (Sinhala) military supervision and round the clock security?! The question is: on what basis does UNESCO declare areas as "Heritage Sites"?
and "Why not the UN declare the whole of Sri Lanka a World Heritage shrine of Sinhala Buddhist's Buddhist with all the bones and cleanse the ethnic Tamils and Muslims out of Sri Lanka!!!"
It would be interesting to know more about the modern history of this site - the area around Trincomalee was ethnically mixed and will undoubtedly have changed considerably as a result of the LTTE/Sri Lankan war. Nearby is another site called "Velgam Vihara" and Lonely Planet says of it " a rare example of a Buddhist site used by Tamils"

Does anyone know more background to the site and its nomination at this time with particular reference to the Sinhala/Tamil aspects? Surely UNESCO hasn't got involved in yet another ethnic/national conflict situation a la Preah Vihear? Yet there is perhaps more than a hint of Sinhala nationalism in the "discovery", promotion and restoration of this site which, according to the T List entry, in ancient times "fell into decay under the pressure of the Tamil invasions from the north"!!!

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