Church of the Nativity, Congo, and Xanadu Added to World Heritage List

Posted on July 17, 2012

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Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

UNESCO has recently added 26 new sites to its World Heritage List. In total, five sites were added to the “natural” category, one site was added to the “mixed” category, and 20 sites were added to the “cultural” category.

Over half of the new World Heritage sites are located outside of North America and Europe. These additions appear to address the list’s geographic imbalance in favor of those two countries. New entries include sites in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Arab states.

The new additions include first-time entries from Palestine (Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem), Chad (a series of interconnected lakes), Congo (a national park), and Palau (Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon). Other sites making the list include the colonial town of Grand Bassam, and the 13th-century Chinese capital city of Xanadu.

The committee also addressed the recent destruction of Muslim tombs in Timbuktu, condemning Ansar Dine’s actions and adding several northern Mali sites to its “danger” list. The committee urged UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova to establish a fund to aid conservation efforts aimed at protecting Mali’s heritage.

Source: Unesco Looks Outside Europe and the US

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