‘Three Rivers’ hydro-electric project checked by World Heritage Status
Not everything can be preserved exactly as it is for all time
World Heritage Centre: The List
World Heritage Education Kit
World Heritage Site
Preserving the various products of human societies can be a difficult process. How does one begin to landmark the cultural and social riches of the world that can be found in many quarters of Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia? Many experts in the field argue that it is important to preserve such places for future generations, so that they might have some sense of the experiences of people who have long passed from the earth. Still others argue that such heritage and preservation activities hinder development and are an infringement on the rights of property holders. This debate continues to unfold and evolve in places such as Mexico, which has a number of heritage sites that have been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list since the original list was first created in 1978. This past week, the New York Times reported on the issues surrounding the list, with particular reference to the situation in Mexico, which finds itself coping with managing the growing numbers of tourists who are seeking out such places. There has been a groundswell of concern from organizations such as the New York-based World Monuments Fund about designating such sites and the increase in traffic produced by being placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The president of the Fund, Bonnie Burnham, recently remarked “Countries found out that while they didn’t get money from UNESCO, they did get recognition, and recognition results in tourism”.
The first link will take visitors to a very nice article from the New York Times’ Seth Kugel, who reports on both the positive and less-than-positive aspects of having places of cultural significance on the World Heritage Site list. The piece also includes a link to an audio slide show that will take visitors through some of Mexico’s World Heritage sites. The second link leads to a news story from this past Monday that discusses how a major hydroelectric project in China may be held up due to the fact that the area contains the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage site. The third link will take users to an impassioned editorial from the Scotsman which discusses the recent preservation imbroglio that is underway in Edinburgh, which is also on the World Heritage list. The fourth link will take users to the actual World Heritage List created by UNESCO. Here visitors can view the list (organized by country), and peruse basic facts about such marvels as the city of Meknes in Morocco and the Poblet Monastery in Spain. The fifth link leads to a helpful educational toolkit developed by the World Heritage organization that is designed to teach young and old alike about the importance of the preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world. The final link leads to a site developed and maintained by Els Slots, an individual who has great admiration and respect for those places on the World Heritage list. Here visitors can view a number of fine photographs of a number of the sites, including the old city of Jerusalem and the city of Bath.