Day: June 19, 2014

Music I Love ~ Thousand Hand Guan Yin

World’s First Heritage Sites

“World’s First Heritage Sites”

by Katia Hetter via “CNN

The World Heritage List now includes 981 sites all over the world. The first version of the list in 1978 included just 12, including L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Park in Canada. The park has an 11th-century Viking settlement, the earliest evidence of the first European presence in the New World.

(CNN) — Checking off the world’s most important natural and cultural wonders can be a herculean task.

The World Heritage List — that most lauded and recognizable of preservation lists — includes nearly 1,000 sites all over the world.

That number will almost certainly increase when the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization meets June 15-25 in Qatar.

Instead of sorting through that encyclopedic list, why not start at the very beginning with the first 12 sites?

The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, Yellowstone National Park in the United States and the Island of Goree in Senegal were among the 12 sites named to the first list in 1978.

Only countries that sign the convention creating the World Heritage Committee and list can nominate sites, and that was just 40 countries when the first nominations came out. Thirty-six years later, 191 nations have signed the convention.

“There is an incredible diversity of sites both natural and cultural around the world,” said Mechtild Rossler, deputy director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, a 22-year veteran of the organization. “The beauty of this convention is that the text defining natural and cultural heritage is very broad.”

Being named to the list is a big deal. Government officials work for years to prepare their nominations, and preservation officials hope for those designations to support their work. And what tourist site doesn’t tout its World Heritage Site designation?

While we wait to learn the newest members of this prestigious list, here are the first 12 World Heritage sites, listed in the order in which they are listed in the minutes of the September 1978 meeting in Washington.

L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Park, Canada

What’s left of the 11th-century Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Park on the island of Newfoundland in Canada is the earliest evidence of the first European presence in North America.

Excavations have found timber-framed, peat-turf buildings like those found in Iceland and Norse Greenland during the same period. It’s the first and only known Viking site in North America. The site was protected by the government of Canada in 1977, just a year before its inclusion on the World Heritage List.

Nahanni National Park, Canada  . . .


Again In Sana’a: Festival For Tourism And Cultural Heritage

“Again In Sana’a: Festival For Tourism And Cultural Heritage”

by Tamjid Alkohali via “National Yemen”

The Glory Lights Association held the Festival of Tourism and Cultural Heritage in Al-Sabeen Park, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Promotion Board under the slogan “with our unity and dialogue we salute our heritage and the glory of our tourism.” The festival aimed to activate domestic tourism and recognize Yemeni habits and traditions.

The Festival was opened by Culture Minister Kassim Salaam who expressed his happiness at holding the festival, wishing to increase the cultural events in Yemen in order to emphasize the people’s belief in the unity of its land, heritage, history, and fate.

The Director General of Environment in the Tourism Ministry explained that the Festival aims to raise awareness of the importance of Yemeni heritage and coincides with the awareness of the outputs of the National Dialogue Conference.

The responsible of festival Afaf Hammoud said that the festival aims to encourage people to visit the internal tourist areas in Yemen instead of traveling abroad for tourism because Yemen isn’t less important and beautiful than any other country.

One of the festival’s visitors said the festival revealed that Yemen is rich in tourism and tourist sites, adding that tourism is a means for cultural and civilizational communication as well as for community cohesion.

The festival included a number of cultural and artistic events in addition to displays of handicraft products, textiles, and photographs at the provincial level. . . . “


Peru: Recovery of Cultural Heritage Increases

Peru: Recovery of Cultural Heritage Increases

by Paola Pinedo García via “InfoSurHoy

In January, the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over 47 cultural artifacts repatriated from overseas to the Ministry of Culture. Highlights include a Moche-style jug and ceremonial cup from the former north coast of Peru, repatriated by the Consulate of Peru in San Francisco in the United States. (Courtesy of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

LIMA, Peru – Peruvian cultural artifacts illegally sold on the international black market are being returned to museums and archeological sites from where they never should have left.

The joint efforts by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have led to the repatriation of 3,018 pieces belonging to Peru’s cultural heritage since 2007.

Alongside the repatriated items, an additional 31,640 artifacts were recovered in Peru, according to Katie Navarro Vásquez, the director of recoveries in the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage Defense at the Ministry of Culture, which is dedicated to preventing and controlling the illegal trafficking in artifacts, and recovering and repatriating them domestically and internationally.

Prevention and security measures are carried out at three units the Ministry of Culture has established in Peru – at Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport, the Santa Rosa complex on the southern border with Chile and in the Postal Services office (Serpost) in the Peruvian capital.

“Our figures for rescued and repatriated items lead us to believe that our control units at strategic exit points from the country have definitely deterred traffickers from trying to smuggle heritage items through these points,” Navarro said.

Ongoing luggage and parcel checks at these three places are carried out by Ministry of Culture personnel alongside officers from the National Police and Customs, she added.

“Peru realized that the loss of its heritage is like somebody ripping out the pieces of our living jigsaw puzzle,” said Cecilia Bákula Budge, former director of the National Institute of Culture of Peru – today the Ministry of Culture – and current head of Peru’s Central Reserve Bank Museum. “I am confident that though we still have a lot to do, we are making progress on an uphill battle in terms of recoveries.”

Thanks to this, 340 cultural pieces destined to be smuggled out of the country were prevented from leaving Peru between January and May after 1,044 pieces were kept from being smuggled out of the country in 2013 and 1,870 in 2012.

“There has been a downward trend since 2007 in trafficking of cultural artifacts,” Navarro said. “This [is due to] our three units’ work. Now, [those] trying to smuggle cultural heritage are aware that we are at the main departure points in the country and that deters them. For us, it’s important that cultural heritage does not cross the border since, once outside, rescuing the pieces – though not impossible – is certainly more difficult [due to] long repatriation processes.” . . . .