Baku sums up 43rd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee

 Baku sums up 43rd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee

The last meeting of the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee took place in Baku today. The correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reported that the meeting was attended by chairman of the Organizing Committee, Azerbaijani Minister of Culture Abulfas Garayev.

Opening the meeting, the minister highly appreciated the work carried out within 10 days.

During this year’s session, the World Heritage Committee inscribed a total of 29 new sites on the World Heritage List (one in Africa, two in the Arab States, ten in the Asia Pacific region, 15 in Europe and North America and one in Latin America). Thus, the World Heritage List now features 1,121 sites in 167 countries.

The historic center of Sheki, together with the Khan's Palace, became the third cultural heritage site included in the World Heritage List after the Maiden Tower and the Shirvanshahs Palace Complex in Icheri Sheher (2000) and Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (2007).

Expressing gratitude to all those who spoke for the sincere words, Abulfas Garayev said that about 2,500 representatives participated in the Baku session. Over the past period, serious discussions were held, 166 areas were reviewed and 29 samples of heritage were included in the list.

"The commission viewed 166 locations during this period and discussed their current situation," the minister said, addingthat 32 of them were new nominations.

Abulfas Garayev spoke about the significance of the event held by Azerbaijan, emphasizing that one of the main directions of the state policy of the country, along with the preservation and promotion of national and spiritual values, and cultural and historical heritage, is the international support for the protection and preservation of world heritage.

Garayev said that inscription of Sheki on UNESCO’s World Heritage List is a success of the country. "We should feel proud that the number of cultural facilities included in the list is increasing," he said, noting that there are 6,700 historical monuments in Azerbaijan. "It is impossible to restore all these monuments in a short time. This process is carried out step-by-step," Garayev stressed.

The minister stressed that as part of the session, with the joint organization of the Azerbaijani Culture Ministry, the UNESCO World Heritage Center; the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM); and the Icherisheher State Historical-Architectural Reserve Department and the State Service of Cultural Heritage Conservation, Development and Rehabilitation; the forums of monuments managers and young professionals were successfully held.

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