UNESCO gives nods to five new World Heritage sites
Adding to the list
Published: Jul 29, 2021 07:18 PM
The Ivindo National Park in Gabon Photos: AFP

The Ivindo National Park in Gabon Photo: AFP

The Ivindo National Park in Gabon Photos: AFP

The Ivindo National Park in Gabon Photo: AFP

The World Heritage Committee on Wednesday added four cultural sites, located in Russia, Italy, Slovenia and the UK and one natural site in Africa to UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The serial property "Petroglyphs of Lake Onega and the White Sea" in Russia, containing 4,500 petroglyphs carved in the rocks during the Neolithic period some 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, is one of the largest such sites in Europe with petroglyphs that document Neolithic culture in Fennoscandia.

"They show significant artistic qualities and testify to the creativity of the Stone Age," said the committee.

The serial property "Porticoes of Bologna" comprises 12 component parts consisting of ensembles of porticoes and their surrounding built areas, located within the Municipality of Bologna, Italy, from the 12th century to the present.

"Together, the selected porticoes reflect different typologies, urban and social functions and chronological phases. Defined as private property for public use, the porticoes have become an expression and element of Bologna's urban identity," said the committee.

The urban design work of Joze Plecnik carried in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, between World War I and World War II were inscribed on the list as it consists of a series of public spaces and public institutions that were sensitively integrated into the pre-existing urban, natural and cultural context and contributed to the city's new identity.

The committee noted that "it is an exceptional case of creating public spaces, buildings and green areas according to the vision of a single architect within a limited time, the limited space of an existing city, and with relatively limited resources."

The new natural site is Ivindo National Park situated on the equator in northern Gabon. The largely pristine Ivindo National Park encompasses an area of almost 300,000 hectares crossed by a network of picturesque blackwater rivers. It features rapids and waterfalls bordered by intact rainforest, which make for a landscape of great aesthetic value. The site's aquatic habitats harbor endemic freshwater fish species, 13 of which are threatened, and at least seven species of Podostemaceae riverweeds, with probable micro-endemic aquatic flora at each waterfall.

The committee also approved an extension to the existing transnational World Heritage site of "Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe." 

The property now comprises 94 component parts across 18 countries and "represents an outstanding example of relatively undisturbed, complex temperate forests and exhibit a wide spectrum of comprehensive ecological patterns and processes of pure and mixed stands of European beech across a variety of environmental conditions."

These additions were made during the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China, which is examining nominations from both 2020 and 2021.  

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