A few points on this subject
a. I don't believe there is any such thing as "AN official
" WHS plaque in the sense of there "having
" to be "one
" such article for each WHS which is, in some way, more important than any others which might be erected
b. The Operational Guidelines (OG) contain a section (Paras 268 -274) which commences "Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List should be marked with the emblem jointly with the UNESCO logo, which should, however, be placed in such a way that they do not visually impair the property in question.
c. It goes on to state "Once a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List, the State Party should place a plaque, whenever possible, to commemorate this inscription
". Note - "a property" "should
" and "whenever possible
". So - presumably, if a WHS consists of multiple "properties" then each "should" have a plaque and, in any case the production/location of a plaque is an "ideal" situation rather than an essential requirement.
d. The section provides "guidelines" for the content of any such plaques - in particular the use of the Emblem, mention of OUV/Convention, languages used, location to be chosen and even a draft text
e. Nowhere is it stated what material should be used - so, although "brass" is the most common it isn't a requirement. I find particular pleasure in identifying some notice board or plaque produced in "non standard" format - often handpainted on some scratty piece of wood or metal - with an emblem which fails totally to meet the strict guidelines of proportion required by UNESCO - these have generally appeared in countries like Bangladesh and Ethiopia- but maybe even there the dead bureaucratic hand of UNESCO is now asserting itself. FAR more important than actually doing something positive to assist preservation! Multiple versions of plaques for a WHS so that each location has one are very common. I think of the Monasteries of Popocatapetl - Every one we visited had its own nicely and correctly designed brass plaque.
f. The guidelines require that the plaque and other uses of the emblem be placed so as not to detract from the site. I think of Kazan where each of the tower roofs has been given a topping consisting of a WHS emblem - not very "Authentic!!!
g. Zoe's "Framed paper version
" is indeed a totally separate article from any "plaque". This seems to be officially titled the "Certificate of Inscription
". It is not mentioned at all in the OGs but does seem to be provided to the SP for each and every inscription and to provide an opportunity for the UNESCO Director General to attend a formal presentation somewhere within the State Party's boundaries (but not necessarily those of the inscribed site????!!!!!) to hand it over, make speeches and "glad hand" etc. See on the UNESCO Web site - http://whc.unesco.org/en/documents/143957
h. Whether the SP sends on the Certificate to the WHS would seem to be up to them. Multiple copies of these "Certificates" can exist - whether these are original or photocopies I know not. I remember that Tarnowski Gory was still awaiting its copy from the Polish Ministry of Culture through the post! Recently we visited both Le locle and La Chaux de Fonds. The former has a copy in the Town Hall and the latter in the WHS exhibition room. I have noticed also that they get changed when official titles change. Whether this happens "automatically" or on demand I also know not!.
i. Just as many of us "WH Travellers" look out for a "Plaque" I have no doubt that many of us also look out for a "Certificate of Inscription". Some times we find one, sometimes the other and sometimes both!! I remember in Verla Board Mill being told that I couldn't photograph the Certificate proudly framed on the wall because photography inside the WHS buildings wasn't allowed
j. More interesting possibly than just listing the location of every plaque might be stories about unusual or unusually placed ones and those are perhaps best included in the review. Mine of Tel Aviv for instance describes the only one which I discovered - "there is one on the pavement in the tree-lined central walkway of Rothschild at the first X roads south of 84 Rothschild!
". And that for the Bangladesh Sundarbans - "Those who like to get a photo of the sign showing the UNESCO logo and title of each site will need to go to Hiron Point. I was told that this was the only place where the inscription is recognised. However, because of problems ensuing from the fact that this is a coastguard and naval site most of the boat trips miss it out nowadays!