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What are they doing all day in Paris anyway? Forum / What are they doing all day in Paris anyway? /  

What's your guess?

Author Assif
#1 | Posted: 28 Jun 2008 18:41 
Since we now have a full knowledge of what the candidates are I think it might be interesting to see which ones you think will make it this year.
Unfortunately, I can't afford a price for the winner...

Author Assif
#2 | Posted: 28 Jun 2008 19:03 
Alright - if I suggest this topic I guess I also have to attempt the first guess.

My bet is on 24 sites in and 20 out.

In: Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, one of the Chinese sites (I don't know which), DPRK, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Papua, Vanuato, Canada, France (only New Caledonia), Hungary-Slovakia, Iceland, Italy (only the Phlegrean Area), San Marino, Switzerland/Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico (only butterfly reserve), India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan.

Out: one Chinese site, Japan, Malasia, Bulgaria, Czech Rep, Israel (both), Switzerland, Germany, France (Vaubon), Croatia, Italy (Mantua), Slovakia, UK, Russia, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico (the Christian site), Cambodia

Extensions: all three approved (India, Spain, Albania)

It would be interesting to check these lists in two weeks.

Author Solivagant
#3 | Posted: 30 Jun 2008 16:40 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The UK "Antonine Wall" is an extension as well (Frontiers of the Roman Empire). I can't really see it being rejected as it forms part of the grand UNESCO/ICOMOS plan to extend that site eventually to cover ALL the boundaries of the Roman Empire including to the south east and south. Also "Transnational sites" are "in"!!.
Not that I have any particular feeling in favour of the site
a. There is relatively little to see as it was an earthen wall and ditch only in use over a short period when the Romans extended into Southern Scotland. Quite a lot of effort was put into preserving a part of it when the "Falkirk Wheel" boat lift was built a few years ago to connect the Union and Forth/Clyde Canals - a tunnel was required to avoid disturbing the remains of the wall. See
b. It is really a bit of a waste of a "year's inscription rights" for the UK especially after last year's fiasco over "Darwin at Down" and the apparent intention of the Ministry of Culture etc to "try again" with that site (Though I haven't been able to discover what happened at the UK-sponsored (and paid for!) meeting to discuss/improve the assessment of sites linked to the "History of Science" which was intended to clear the way for this site and to overcome the panning it was given by the French-led ICOMOS study last year! Does anyone else know? Whatever they have come up with I am inclined to agree with Meltwaterfalls that the site isn't linked physically enough with Darwin and his discoveries to justify inscription - his "spirit" wandering the rooms and gardens isn't really adequate! A BBC report today wasn't even able to find examples of the 2 varieties of Cow Parsley which he was supposed to have noticed in his garden and lane!). All this puts back the chances of what are, in my opionion, more worthy UK candidates. But it was Scotland's "turn" (Then England's again and then Wales's etc). There are 3 other Scottish Sites on the UK's T List of which perhaps the "Forth Rail Bridge" is the most compelling of a pretty average batch - but I guess these were not ready to be put forward!

Author meltwaterfalls
#4 | Posted: 1 Jul 2008 10:11 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
I have a feeling the German nomination of the Berlin Housing Estates will fare well. They have a lot of important people backing them. The German Government and Mayor of Berlin have thrown a lot of weight behind the proposal. The Bauhaus Archive ran an exhibition on them last year and have also supported the proposal. ICOMOS even arranged for their conference on 20th century architecture to take place last year in Berlin and I note that as well as receiving Key Note speeches from the groups above supporting the proposal the delegates were treated to a tour of the housing estates. With this sort of promotion I think it has a pretty decent shot at getting a place on the list

Also the architects involved in the projects read like a whose who of influential architects of the first half of the 20th century; Behrens, Taut, Gropius. Perhaps only the housing estates in Stuttgart can call on a more illustrious cast, and this is partially covered by the massive Le Corbusier proposal in the pipeline for next year.

I visited one last year and they had been recently renovated and looked well maintained, don't think they would feature highly on most people's itineraries though, I was the only 'Tourist' there and received some strange looks. I enjoyed them but they certainly weren't outstanding, but they were highly influential and I think may just edge onto the list.

This is a decent resource if you want more info.

Author Solivagant
#5 | Posted: 1 Jul 2008 13:35 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Would you "trade" a "Berlin Inscription" for a "Dresden Delisting"!!??
Could be UNESCO's way of encouraging and disciplining Germany at the same time! "We have ways of making you ....."!

Author elsslots
#6 | Posted: 4 Jul 2008 09:39 | Edited by: elsslots 
I've been looking for some of this years documents that might be available accidentally/unguarded on the internet. The only one I found so far is the very positive IUCN evaluation of the New Caledonia site

Author Assif
#7 | Posted: 4 Jul 2008 17:29 
I think you all miss the point of what guessing is...

Author Solivagant
#8 | Posted: 5 Jul 2008 04:52 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Please enlighten us Assif!
I thought it was to have a bit of fun by trying to predict the unpredictable using such "knowledge" as we have available or can garner to arrive at likely probabilities regarding the decisions to be made by WHC based on advice from ICOMOS/IUCN! Some people like taking part in pure lotteries of course so I guess we could each draw some names out of the hat as "guesses" but I find no "fun" in that and limit my comments to where I feel (probably totally wrongly of course!) that I have an "edge"!

Your own list is certainly as good a start as any. I have thrown in my "guess" about the Antonine wall based on my perception of WHC "strategy"; Meltwaterfalls believes he has "inside knowledge" about Berlin's chances (and he seems to have a point, but we shall see!) - I think that WHC won't want to be seen to be ganging up on Germany so I support him; and Els has got some information straight from the coach about New Caledonia (seems a bit sneaky but all is fair....!) which seems to give that site a near cert status!

I agree with the guess that the new countries will do well.
Based on the "criteria", Leon is nothing special and there are already too many Latin American Cathedrals - given that the WHC will be looking for some sites to be dropped it could be a good candidate . On the other hand .... Nicaragua only has 1 site. A way out for the WHC would be a referral I think on some arcane point about the size of the buffer zone - that should enable the decision to be put off for a year without upsetting Nicaragua too much!
I find it difficult to believe that Buenos Aires can come in from nowhere and get accepted on its first attempt - and a Cultural Landscape" in a city sounds a bit radical???
Canada's "Joggins" must get accepted after they have been the "host nation"!
Cuba's site doesn't grab me - can they really get all their provincial towns on the list? Again if there have to be some sacrifices I would look there
I would feel similarly about Mexico's San Miguel - but I suspect they will have done a fantastic job in preparing their case! The only downside is that the Sanctuary is still undergoing restoration so that could provide an excuse for a delaying tactic
Bulgaria's "Pirin" is another extension - and to what i feel is already a "weak" site but extensions are pretty easy if all the necessary "boxes" are ticked

No other thoughts/guesses at the moment I am afraid - and time is running out - the Cambodia decision is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday). I would guess yet another delaying compromise on that one as UNESCO won't want to be seen to be taking sides in matters of international diplomacy and accepting the site could cause more trouble than it would solve!

Author elsslots
#9 | Posted: 5 Jul 2008 05:47 
When this stage in the process is reached, there's nothing left besides plain guessing and trying to track down reports on the internet. Sites are often deferred for a lack of paper work and not for their merits.

The ones that I think (or in some cases hope) are OUT, are:
- China - Mount Sanqingshan National Park (another Chinese sacred mountain)
- Japan Hiraizumi - Cultural Landscape Associated with Pure Land Buddhist Cosmology (negative ICOMOS evaluation)
- Bulgaria - Pirin National Park (it's an extension thas has been around for a while)
- Croatia - The Stari Grad Plain (doesn't seem very special)
- France - L'oeuvre de Vauban (could be in as well, thanks to France's great record in filling in paperwork)
- Czech Republic - Spa of Luhacovice – area with a collection of historic spa buildings and spa-related facilities (also not so special)
- Cuba - Urban Historic Scenery Camagüey (as already said, there are already a number of similar Cuban towns on the list)
- Mexico - Protective Town of San Miguel and The Sanctuary of Jesús de Nazareno de Atotonilco (like the French entry, could get in as well because Mexico knows how to play the game)
- Nicaragua - Cathédrale de León (another cathedral)
- Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests (this one needed a lot of paper work and explaining after the deferral in 1997, I don't know if Kenya has managed this)
- Kyrgyzstan - Sulamain-Too Sacred Mountain (sacred mountains are difficult to explain on paper, but it would be Kyrgyz's first)

Author david
#10 | Posted: 5 Jul 2008 12:18 | Edited by: david 
I have found out some news about the ICOMOS evalutuation of the Swiss/Italian candidature, which seems to be positive. Unfortunately it is only in Italian: URL or in German: URL

What are they doing all day in Paris anyway? Forum / What are they doing all day in Paris anyway? /
 What's your guess?

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