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Four New Sites Added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

Published on July 02, 2018
Four cultural sites have been added to the list.
Four New Sites Added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List
  • The 42nd session of World Heritage Committee (WHC) meeting of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held in Manama, Bahrain has inscribed four cultural sites on the World Heritage List.
These four cultural sites are:
1. Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai, India.
2. Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region, Iran.
3. Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki region, Japan.
4. Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea (Republic of Korea)

Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (India) :

  • Having become a global trading centre, the city of Mumbai implemented an ambitious urban planning project in the second half of the 19th century. 
  • It led to the construction of ensembles of public buildings bordering the Oval Maidan open space, first in the Victorian Neo-Gothic style and then, in the early 20th century, in the Art Deco idiom. 
  • The Victorian ensemble includes Indian elements suited to the climate, including balconies and verandas. 
  • The Art Deco edifices, with their cinemas and residential buildings, blend Indian design with Art Deco imagery, creating a unique style that has been described as Indo-Deco. 
  • These two ensembles bear testimony to the phases of modernization that Mumbai has undergone in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region (Islamic Republic of Iran):

Eight archaeological sites situated in three geographical parts in the southeast of Fars Province:
1. Firuzabad
2. Bishapur
3. Sarvestan.

  • These fortified structures, palaces, and city plans date back to the earliest and latest times of the Sassanian Empire, which stretched across the region from 224 to 658 CE. 
  • Among these sites is the capital built by the founder of the dynasty, Ardashir Papakan, as well as a city and architectural structures of his successor, Shapur I. 
  • The archaeologic landscape reflects the optimized utilization of natural topography and bears witness to the influence of Achaemenid and Parthian cultural traditions and of Roman art, which had a significant impact on the architecture and artistic styles of the Islamic era.

Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region (Japan):

  • Located in the north-western part of Kyushu island, the 12 components of the site consist of ten villages, Hara Castle and a cathedral, built between the 16th and 19th centuries. 
  • Together they reflect the earliest activities of Christian missionaries and settlers in Japan – the phase of encounter, followed by times of prohibition and persecution of the Christian faith and the final phase of the revitalization of Christian communities after the lifting of prohibition in 1873. 
  • These sites bear unique testimony to a cultural tradition nurtured by hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly transmitted their faith during the period of prohibition from the 17th to the 19th century.

Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea (Republic of Korea):

  • The Sansa are Buddhist mountain monasteries located throughout the southern provinces of the Korean Peninsula. 
  • The spatial arrangement of the seven temples that comprise the site, established from the 7th to 9th centuries, present common characteristics that are specific to Korea – the “madang” (open courtyard) flanked by four buildings (Buddha Hall, pavilion, lecture hall and dormitory). 
  • They contain a large number of individually remarkable structures, objects, documents and shrines. 
  • These mountain monasteries are sacred places, which have survived as living centres of faith and daily religious practice to the present.

How UNESCO World Heritage Sites are selected?

  • The World Heritage Sites are sites selected by UNESCO, having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance and is legally protected by international treaties.
  • The list is maintained by international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
  • The committee comprises of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by UN General Assembly.
  • Each World Heritage Site included in the list remains part of the legal territory of the state where it is located.
  • But inclusion of sites in the list by UNESCO is in interest of the international community to preserve each site.
  • Presently, Italy with 50 sites is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites.

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