Unesco has added 33 new cultural and natural sites to its World Heritage List, including a forest in Thailand, the Trans-Iranian Railway and the porticoes of Bologna, Italy.
This brings the total of Unesco World Heritage Sites to 1,153. The bumper crop of new additions is because the committee didn’t meet in 2020 due to Covid, so it reviewed two years’ worth of nominations at its meeting in Fuzhou, China.
The UN agency for education, science and culture bestows World Heritage status upon sites for having a particular cultural, historical or geographic significance, referred to as “outstanding universal value.” The list was first introduced in the 1970s.
The latest list sees Italy take the lead in the number of sites with 58. China is in second place with 56.
Europe dominates in the top 10 UNESCO countries with an impressive 226 sites across Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the UK.
The island of Ireland has three sites in the list – The collection of neolithic tombs at Brú na Bóinne, Skellig Michael and the rock formations of the Giant’s Causeway.
Seven other sites have been included in a tentative list for possible nomination. These are:
- The Burren (2010)
- The Historic City of Dublin (2010)
- The Céide Fields and North West Mayo Boglands (2010)
- Western Stone Forts (2010)
- The Monastic City of Clonmacnoise and its Cultural Landscape (2010)
- Early Medieval Monastic Sites (2010)
- The Royal Sites of Ireland: Cashel, Dún Ailinne, Hill of Uisneach, Rathcroghan Complex, and Tara Complex (2010)
Last week, Liverpool’s docklands were stripped of its world heritage status.
The UN’s heritage body had put Liverpool on its endangered list a few years ago but made the decision to remove it altogether because its “outstanding universal value” had been compromised by ongoing developments in the docklands, including the construction of Everton’s new stadium.
It is only the third site to be stripped of its world heritage status. The other delisted sites were Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in 2007 and the Dresden Elbe valley in Germany in 2009.