UNESCO mulls first Palestinian site for Heritage list (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 06/04/12)
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UNESCO said Monday it will for the first time consider a Palestinian
site for its World Heritage List, after the Palestinians
controversially joined the UN heritage body last year.
UNESCO said in a statement that its World Heritage Committee will
consider Bethlehem´s Church of the Nativity for inclusion on the
prestigious list during its next meeting, from June 24 to July 6, in
"Palestine, which became a member of UNESCO in October 2011 and
subsequently ratified the World Heritage Convention, will be
presenting its first site for inscription on the World Heritage
List," UNESCO said.
The full site to be listed would be the "Birthplace of Jesus: Church
of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem," UNESCO said.
The church is the most visited tourist site in the Palestinian
Territories, welcoming 1.5 million visitors in 2010.
The Palestinians were admitted to UNESCO in October, when its general
assembly voted 107-14 to make Palestine its 195th member.
The result angered the United States, Israel´s staunch ally, which
says the Palestinians must reach a peace agreement with the Jewish
state before they can become full members of an international
Israel and the United States subsequently cut funding to UNESCO,
depriving the organisation of 22 percent of its revenues.
The committee will consider 36 sites for inclusion on the World
Heritage List at the Saint Petersburg meeting, UNESCO said.
(Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 06/04/12)
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