UNESCO TO CONSIDER BETHLEHEM’S CHURCH OF NATIVITY FOR WORLD HERITAGE LIST
June 5, 2012 – 22:16 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – UNESCO said 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, AFP reported.
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 Saint Petersburg.
“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,”
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 organisation.
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.
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