Saturday, July 31, 2010

UNESCO relaxes its rules - again - this time in Turkey

Hurriyet Daily News

Although this does not concern Egypt directly I thought that this story was particularly useful in the light of Caroline Simpson's recent paper about Qurna on the west bank of Luxor (Theban Blindness - the Case of Qurna). UNESCO made all sorts of rulings and recommendations which were ignored by Egypt - but Egypt has not been in any way penalized. It is difficult to see the value of either such status awards or such rulings if countries are allowed to ignore regulations but are permitted to maintain their privileged status.

UNESCO’s decision not to remove Istanbul from its World Heritage List is a win for the city, but should not excuse complacency in protecting its historical sites, experts said after the decision was made public Friday.

“Having not been excluded from the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, after all the mistakes we have made, once more shows Istanbul’s value,” Tayfun Kahraman, chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Urban Planners, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday, adding that the decision came as a surprise to him, but was very good news for Turkey.

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