Monday, June 24, 2013

UNESCO lists 2 Chinese properties, 17 other places as world heritage sites

Xinhua | 2013-6-24

The UNESCO's World Heritage Committee had inscribed two Chinese properties and 17 other places around the globe on its prestigious World Heritage List during its 37th annual session here, bringing the total number of world heritage sites to 981.

The sites are recognized by the UNESCO for its exceptional beauty or cultural value. Italy's Medici Villas and Gardens were the latest site added to the World Heritage List by the committee during the session on Sunday.

The China's newly-listed sites are Xinjiang Tianshan natural property and Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces.

The other listed sites included Italy's Mount Etna, Mexico's El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, Namibia' s Namib Sand Sea, Tajikistan's Tajik National Park, Canada's Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Fiji's Levuka Historical Port Town, India's Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Iran's Golestan Palace, Ukraine's Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese, Japan's Fujisan, Niger's Historic Centre of Agadez, Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region in Poland and Ukraine, Portugal' s University of Coimbra, Qatar's Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, and Germany's Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe.

The 37th session of the World Heritage Committee was held in Phnom Penh on June 16 and will close in Angkor on June 27.

During the session, besides new site inscription, the 21-member committee had added six World Heritage sites in Syria on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the country's civil war that caused heavy damage to the sites.

The six sites in Syria are Ancient City of Damascus, Ancient city of Bosra, Site of Palmyra, Ancient City of Aleppo, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal'at Salah El-Din, and Ancient Villages of Northern Syria.

Moreover, the committee placed the World Heritage site of East Rennell in Solomon Islands to the List of World Heritage in Danger due to logging that is affecting the ecosystem of the site, while the World Heritage site of Bam and its Cultural Landscape in Iran, struck by a major earthquake, were removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Ek Tha, a spokesman for the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee, said that all discussions during the session had been made in a frank manner and friendly atmosphere.

"Cambodia is very proud to chair this UN committee smoothly and professionally," he told Xinhua on Sunday. "Through this milestone event, Cambodia will be more known to the outside world -- as we all know over 1,460 delegates from 128 countries have joined this meeting."

He also lauded China for its two wonderful sites being inscribed on the prestigious list during the session.
Speaking during the session on Sunday, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, Chairman of the 37th WHC session, said that Qatar will host the 38th WHC session next year.

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