The world heritage committee recently added four cultural sites situated in Russia, Italy, Slovenia and the UK. They have also added one natural site in Africa. These sites have been added to UNESCO’s world heritage list. These additions were made in the previous week during the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee.
In Russia, “Petroglyphs of Lake Onega and the White Sea”, containing 4,500 petroglyphs carved in the rocks during the Neolithic period dated 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, is one of the largest such sites in Europe with petroglyphs that document Neolithic culture in Fennoscandia. The serial property encompasses 33 sites in two component parts 300 km apart: 22 petroglyph sites at Lake Onega in the district of Pudozhsky featuring a total of over 1,200 figures and 3,411 figures in 11 sites by the White Sea in the district of Belomorsky. “They show significant artistic qualities and testify to the creativity of the Stone Age,” said the committee.
In Italy, the “Porticoes of Bologna” comprises 12 component parts consisting of ensembles of porticoes and their surrounding areas built 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 Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales in the UK became a World Heritage site as it “offers an important and remarkable example of interchange of materials, technology and human values”.
The new natural site is Ivindo National Park situated on the equator in northern Gabon. The largely pristine site 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 harbour 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.