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11 Jul 2019

Unesco adds 29 new sites to World Heritage list
BY Andy Knaggs

Bagan, in Myanmar - a sacred landscape featuring art and architecture

Bagan, in Myanmar - a sacred landscape featuring art and architecture
photo: Unesco / Department of Archaeology and National Museum

The architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the ruins of Babylon, a migratory bird sanctuary on the coast of the Yellow Sea, and a Prosecco wine production area in northeastern Italy are among 29 new additions to Unesco's World Heritage list this year.

Unesco has been holding its 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan, at which it selects the new World Heritage Sites each year, giving those places selected a chance of better funding and preservation.

Eight buildings designed by celebrated US architect Frank Lloyd Wright are included as one entry. They include the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Fallingwater House in Pennsylvania, and Taliesin in Wisconsin. Wright's concept of "organic architecture", blurring the boundaries between exterior and interior had a strong impact on the development of modern architecture in Europe.

On that continent, Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene is a series of hills with small plots of vines on the edge of narrow terraces (ciglioni). The rugged terrain has been cultivated for centuries, with the use of the ciglioni creating a breathtaking checkerboard landscape.

Babylon's Hanging Gardens have long been celebrated as a wonder of the world, but the city ruins, located 85km from Baghdad, have been refused entry to the list on five successive occasions. It was the capital of one of the most influential empires of the ancient world, and the existence and location of legendary Babylonian monuments such as the Tower of Babel and Ishtar Gate are still the subject of debate today.

The intertidal areas of the Yellow Sea/Gulf of Bohai are of global importance for the gathering of many migratory bird species, and the intertidal mudflat system here is considered to be the largest in the world. These mudflats, as well as marshes and shoals, serve as growth areas for many species of fish and crustaceans, while large gatherings of birds, including some of the world's most endangered species, depend on the coastline as a stopover to moult, rest, winter or nest.

With these 29 new sites there are now more than 1,100 locations on the Unesco list, spread across 167 countries.

The 29 new sites are:

Ancient ferrous metallurgy sites of Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso
Archaeological ruins of Liangzhu City, China
Babylon, Iraq
Bagan, Myanmar
Budj Bim cultural landscape, Australia
Churches of the Pskov School of Architecture, Russia
Dilmun Burial Mounds, Bahrain
Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region, Czechia and Germany
French Austral Lands and Seas, France
Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan's Palace, Azerbaijan
Hyrcanian Forests, Iran
Jaipur City, India
Jodrell Bank Observatory, UK
Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped Flint Mining Region, Poland
Landscape for Breeding and Training of Ceremonial Carriage Horses at Kladruby nad Labem, Czechia
Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene, Italy
Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhuang – Plain of Jars, Lao People's Democratic Republic
Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I), China
Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan, Japan
Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto, Indonesia
Paraty and Ilha Grande – Culture and Biodiversity, Brazil
Risco Caido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape, Spain
Royal Building of Mafra – Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (Tapada), Portugal
Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga, Portugal
Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies, Republic of Korea
The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, The USA
Vatnajökull National Park - dynamic nature of fire and ice, Iceland
Water Management System of Augsburg, Germany
Writing-on-Stone, Áísínai’pi, Canada

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