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World Heritage Sites in or NEar Cities which ahve hosted the WH conference

Author Xeres
#1 | Posted: 14 Feb 2009 17:05 
Inspired by last July's meeting in Quebec, here is a connection about WHS in cities which have hosted the conference.
2011 is in Bahrain by the way

Paris (1977, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1989)
Pyramids, Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae (1979)
Sydney Opera House (1981)
Florence (1983)
Istanbul (1985)
Brasilia (1988)
Rocky Mountain Parks (1990)
Carthage (1991)
Cartagena (1993)
Berlin Housign Estates, Palaces of Berlin and Potsdam (1995)
Kyoto (1998)
Marrakesh (1999)
Budapest (2002)\
Suzhou Gardens (2004)
Vilnius (2006)
Quebec (2008)

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 15 Feb 2009 08:54 | Edited by: Solivagant 
A potentially interesting side issue on this subject is the relationship between the location of the WHC each year and the inscription of sites in the same year which are very closely related to that location – whether the city itself, a nearby site, or another site in the same country. A quick analysis of WHC locations and the inscriptions made over the years shows quite a corollation! Now of course it isn't clear in what direction this connection operates – is a site gaining an advantage in inscription by being given it as a "reward" or is it holding a WHC to "celebrate" an inscription it would have (or expected to) received anyway? I suspect that both aspects are operating – but that there almost certainly is/has been a degree of "expectation" in hosting a WHC ("I will hold it and would hope that you would inscribe my site..."!) - where "my site" includes sites from "my country". It would take a brave WHC to reject a reasonable proposal from the host city/country whatever ICOMOS/IUCN say (though it HAS happened - see below!!). We know from the successful pressures operated by the Japanese WHC member to get Iwami Ginzan inscribed in 2007, despite alternative views from ICOMOS, that personal pressures do work within the WHC and such pressures must be greater when relating to the host country.

Of course there is quite a delay between the date of offering to hold a WHC and the meeting itself – so that gives all parties plenty of time to coordinate and shepherd an appropriate site through to inscription to coincide with the WHC! Certainly in recent years next year's venue isn't just decided as an item on this year's meeting agenda! The fact that Bahrain is already preparing to hold the 2011 WHC demonstrates that the international conference circuit requires long term planning to obtain the appropriate venues and hotels (though in many countries the governments ride rough-shod over every one else's plans by just commandeering such resources at short notice!) Now, Bahrain is clearly pulling out all the stops to position itself in the "heritage industry" and has also been "chosen" as the World Heritage Regional Centre for Arab countries :-. "Information Ministry's Undersecretary for Culture and National Heritage Shaikh Rashid bin Abdul Rahman Al Khalifa said in a statement that Bahrain's selection came in appreciation for its high calibre efforts in culture and heritage. The new regional centre will offer support for Arab countries to prepare for the inscription of their heritage, cultural, archaeological or natural sites on the world heritage list, he said. Bahrain got its only inscription in 2005 – I would not be surprised if we will see another Bahraini site fattened up for inscription in 2011!

So – to look at the history of inscriptions. I have left out of the analysis all the WHC meetings in Paris (8 – including a preliminary in 1977 and 6 in the 1980's). The fact that it is the UNESCO HQ creates a rather special circumstance which is not going to be reflected in loads of inscriptions for France ........ or is it?! There have however been 24 other meetings – all at different locations around the world. Of these

a. 3 have had a local site inscribed in the same year as they hosted the WHC
i. 1979 Luxor (The "Bureau Meeting" that year was also partly held in Cairo) – Historic Cairo, Pyramid Fields and Ancient Thebes
ii. 1992 Santa Fe - Taos
iii. 1996 Merida -Uxmal

b. 1 had a site rejected in the year it hosted the WHC – Sydney Opera House was withdrawn when the WHC was held in Sydney in 1981. What a disappointment that must have been – all ready to party and the main guest is found to be "poorly"!!

c. 2 have been inscribed the year before they hosted the WHC. This "1 year grace" isn't surprising – the link shouldn't be too obvious and there needs to be allowance for a possible de/referral!
i. Florence (Inscribed 1982 WHC in 1983)
ii. Brasilia (inscribed 1987 WHC in 1988).

d. 13 have had at least 1 (and often rather more) site inscribed from their country in the year they hosted a WHC
i. 1978 Washington – Mesa Verde, Yellowstone
ii. 1979 Cairo – Abu Mena
iii. 1981 Sydney – Willandra, Kakdu, Gt Barrier Reef
iv. 1984 Buenos Aires – Iguassu and the Missions
v. 1995 Berlin –Messel Pits
vi. 1996 Merida –Queretaro
vii. 1997 Naples – Italy got 10 DIFFERENT sites inscribed that year!!!
viii. 1998 Kyoto - Nara
ix. 2000 Cairns – Greater Blue Mountains
x. 2002 Budapest –Tokaji
xi. 2004 Suzhou – Koguyo Kingdom (a rather "controversial" inscription)
xii. 2005 Durban – Vredefort
xiii. 2008 –Quebec – Joggins

e. 1 has had a site from their country inscribed within 1 year of hosting the WHC - 2006 Vilnius – Struve Arc inscribed 2005

The general impression I have is that "same/close year inscription" of the city holding the WHC is less common than it was - if only because most of the sites holding WHCs recently had already been inscribed and others were not perhaps suitable. BUT WHC Host cities can still "play for their country"! And certainly recently most of the countries whose city has hosted a WHC have been given the "reward" of at least 1 inscription for their "trouble"! Indeed of the "countries" which held a WHC since 1995 (Berlin) only Marrakesh 1999, Helsinki 2001 and Christchurch 2007 didn't "use" or "associated" the occasion to get an inscription for "their country" in that or a previous year!

Author m_m
#3 | Posted: 19 Feb 2009 03:25 
where will the 2010 session take place? just curious since it appears 2011 has already been decided. thanks.

Author Solivagant
#4 | Posted: 19 Feb 2009 10:45 | Edited by: Solivagant 
"After the announcement of Jeju's registration, Yoo Hong-joon, administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration, proposed UNESCO hold the 34th session in 2010 in Jeju."

From ct_arrange=headnum&desc=asc&no=44

I don't know if the offer was taken up but my Googling hasn't come up with anything else!

I wonder if the report which said that Bahrain was going to hold the 2011 session was incorrect and that it is in fact holding the 2010 session (Right on time for the inscription of the Pearling cultural Landscape!). See

All very muddling.

Author Solivagant
#5 | Posted: 20 Feb 2009 06:57 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The mystery deepens!
I have several e-mails out to Bahraini and other ME sources to try to discover more!

The story so far seems to be (but subject to adjustment) that indeed Bahrain WAS to host the 2010 WHC - but, due to various factors, this honour has been postponed until 2011. If this IS the case it isn't clear which city is picking up the pieces for 2010.

At the time all this was initiated a Shaikha May bint Mohammed Al Khalifa was "Assistant Undersecretary for Culture and National Heritage" . Now this lady is a "mover and shaker" among Arab females and, inter alia, has been honoured as 1 of the top 10 influential Arab women and in April 2008 was awarded "The Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters" by the French government. She also got "a masters degree in political history from the University of Sheffield, UK"

Perhaps it should also be mentioned that the Bahraini Royal Family are Al Khalifas!!!

Anyway - she left this job and has recently returned as MINISTER of Culture and Administration ("the first female to take this portfolio in the Kingdom") . However it seems that, during this interregnum nothing much happened about organising the event and as soon as Ms Al Khalifa started preparing for it in her new job which started in Nov 2008 it was concluded that there wasn't enough time to do the necessary for 2010!!

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 World Heritage Sites in or NEar Cities which ahve hosted the WH conference

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