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Unesco

News
Hagia Sophia

Russia to fund small-scale replica Hagia Sophia in Syria that will be used as a church

Tactical move comes after Turkish president ordered historic Istanbul site to be turned into a mosque

News
Conservation & Preservation

Turkish government on collision course with Unesco over turning Hagia Sophia into mosque

President Erdogan’s plans to convert the museum have drawn fire from Greece and the US

News
Mosul

Unesco's plan to ‘revive spirit’ of devastated Mosul gets under way

Initiative involves local communities in rebuilding their historic landmarks and neighbourhoods

News
Heritage

Unesco denounces construction project near Lebanon's ancient archaeological site Nahr El-Kalb

In an open letter, the organisation criticises building work in the historic area, which is on the nomination list to become a World Heritage site

News
Climate Change

Heritage on the edge: new Google project reveals climate change damage to Unesco sites

Digital visualisations gathered for online exhibit will be a “blueprint” for heritage managers planning climate adaptation in the future

News
Turkey

Court ruling converting Turkish museum to mosque could set precedent for Hagia Sophia

Decision that Kariye Museum must become a Muslim house of worship again could imperil its Byzantine art and have repercussions for other early Christian monuments

Comment
Venice

Venice is in peril: Unesco should come to the aid of Venice as it did after the great flood of 1966

Its official international role, to which Italy signed up, enables it to mobilise world expertise and funds

News
Venice

Where are the flood barriers, cry the citizens of Venice after its second worst flood since records began

More evidence has emerged that the flood barriers have serious technical problems

News
Iraq

As protests rage in Iraq, experts say culture is key to long-term reconstruction

Iraqi culture ministry announces new national museum in Baghdad as Mosul restoration plan is extended to historic churches

Comment
Unesco

A former Unesco chief denounces its failure to protect Venice at Baku meeting

“Where have the ethics and sense of a global mandate to protect the world’s heritage gone?”, asks Francesco Bandarin

News
Unesco

In a first, Unesco gives Frank Lloyd Wright buildings World Heritage status

US architect's distinctive designs are among 29 cultural sites recognised for their “outstanding value to humanity”

News
Brazil

Unesco visit brings new growth to Roberto Burle Marx’s home and garden

Brazil funds major renovation of landscape architect's lush estate, which could become a World Heritage site in 2020

Comment
Venice

The Turkish shareholders in the port of Venice want to keep cruise ships coming—and the mayor supports them

The World Heritage Committee is meeting in Baku and intends to dodge declaring Venice endangered for the third time

News
Cathedral of Notre Dame

World Heritage Committee will not discuss Notre Dame at its 2019 annual meeting

France is due to provide a report on the fire-ravaged church this year

News
Heritage

Planned cable car attraction over Belgrade historic fortress ‘should be suspended’

Kalemegdan served as a military site for the Roman Empire and is a candidate for Unesco World Heritage status

News
Cathedral of Notre Dame

French senate says Notre Dame must be restored 'in the same way as before'

Wim Delvoye, one of the artists who submitted a proposal, says he is confident the government will pivot to his solution

News
Heritage

Opposition flares as Peru’s government makes way for airport near Machu Picchu

A petition has been launched to prevent the Peruvian government from continuing the project

News
Leonardo da Vinci

Italy secures loan of Leonardo da Vinci's Benois Madonna from Russia's Hermitage museum

There has been intense competition to borrow works by the artist during the 500th anniversary of his death this year

News
Heritage

Exhibition of Gormley’s figures repopulates a Greek island’s ancient ruins

Life-size "bodyforms" are positioned amid ancient grottoes, agoras and sculptures

Comment
Cathedral of Notre Dame

Notre Dame should be rebuilt as it was

The cathedral’s 19th-century additions are as much part of its history as its Gothic vaults, says a former director of Unesco’s World Heritage Centre

News
Museums & Heritage

Weimar—birthplace of Bauhaus—opens new museum dedicated to the influential design school

On the same day, the nearby Neues Museum Weimar will open a new permanent exhibition on early Modernism

News
Unesco

Goodbye Venice, goodbye Ravenna, goodbye Ferrara, goodbye Carthage?

Many World Heritage Sites around the Mediterranean are at grave risk from sea-level rise by 2100, report says

News
Unesco

UK threat to leave Unesco reignites debate about purpose of UN culture body

The US and Israel announced plans to leave the international organisation last year

News
Disasters & destruction

Syrian museums seek Russian expertise to restore destroyed Palmyra sculptures

Ancient city occupied by Islamic State was retaken by Syrian army with Russian support in 2017

News
Unesco

Mumbai’s Victorian Gothic and Art Deco business district declared a Unesco World Heritage Site

British-era buildings in historic Fort area nominated by “several citizens’ groups”

News
Conservation & Preservation

World Monuments Fund gives $1m for post-quake restoration of Mexican archaeological site

Monte Albán, the ancient capital of the Zapotec people, was damaged by earthquakes in 2017

News
Looting

Scotland Yard joins global crackdown on looted pharaonic antiquities

The initiative, which involves governments and the art world, will set up a public database of objects

News
Palestine

Gifts multiply for fledgling Palestinian museum’s solidarity collection

Sixty works donated by European and Arab artists will stay at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris until a permanent home is built

News
Unesco

Unesco: the view from Israelis and Palestinians

How disparate approaches to international law play out at the organisation

Archive
Cambodia

Cambodia to host culture and tourism conference

Preservation, cultural routes, urban regeneration through tourism are all set to be discussed

Archive
Cambodia

Light is finally being shed on the issue of restitution of looted art

The restitution of Cambodian statues by major museums and auction houses is an encouraging sign

Archive
News

Unesco warns of fraud as unsanctioned authentication documents circulate

The warning states that certificates of authentication allowing imports of African cultural heritage are being forged

Archive
News

Syrian war’s devastating toll on antiquities

Unesco places major national heritage sites on danger list as ground combat, air strikes and looting reduce ancient settlements to rubble

Archive
Cambodia

Demilitarised zone established to protect shelled temple on border between Cambodia and Thailand

Thai army cedes ground but future of Cambodian World Heritage site remains unresolved

Archive
Cultural heritage

Draft Unesco Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage would extend controls 200 miles out from the coast

If the draft is approved by two-thirds of member countries at the General Conference next month it will be sent out for ratification. US and Russian support unlikely.

Archive
War & Conflict

Another casualty of the culture wars

Damage to the Egyptian Museum is just the latest example of the politicisation of archaeology.

Archive
Restitution

Books: A history of the development of an international restitution ethic

Giving things back—the how, when, where and why

Archive
Unesco

Will the success of the Acropolis Museum change the Elgin Marbles debate?

Unesco intergovernmental committee is now seeking “a mutually satisfactory resolution to the issue”

Archive
Iraq

Ex-head of Iraq's board of antiquities estimates 10 years of restoration for Babylon

The integrity of the historic site did not factor into US strategy, proven by the construction of an adjacent military base

Archive
Iraq

International backing secured for the recuperation of Babylon after disturbances by US military bases

The World Monuments Fund will educate Iraqi experts tasked with keeping the ruins in good condition

Archive
Unesco

Samarra shrine must be rebuilt: Unesco says reconstruction will help unite warring factions

The site is considered one of the holiest in Iraq, containing the remains of two of the Prophet's descendants

Archive
Unesco

Samarra mosque at risk from new police barracks

There are fears that the new station will be a target for insurgents; Unesco powerless to protect the World Heritage site

Archive
Antiquities & Archaeology

Iraqi Prime Minister pushes for Samarra rebuild after mosque loses final minarets in second attack

At least 18 shrines have been attacked since last February, says antiquities head

Archive
Unesco

Unesco criticises private campaign to choose new seven wonders

Scheme is led by former Unesco director

Archive
Unesco

“Catalogue of the National Museum of Afghanistan”: recording and illustrating key objects in the Kabul Museum

Unesco has published a record of the 1,600 objects acquired by the institution between 1931 and 1985

Archive
Underwater Archaeology

Conservation project focuses on Jewish heritage sites and underwater archaeology

Israel and India join forces

Archive
Unesco

Getty revises its guidelines for acquiring antiquities—again

Artefacts must have left their countries of origin by 1970, the year of the Unesco Convention, or have proper export documentation to be considered for purchase

Archive
Antiquities & Archaeology

Unesco to step in to examine so-called “pyramids”

Academics claim that the dig is “pseudo-archaeology”

Archive
Kosovo

Unesco reconstruction plan for Kosovo

Lack of trust between Serbs and Muslims continues to hinder restoration efforts

Archive
Unesco

Switzerland to implement 1970 UNESCO Convention legislation on 1st June

Switzerland’s is known for its pivotal presence in the underground network that moves illicitly excavated artefacts from country to country

Archive
Art market

China requests US impose embargo on Chinese art

China holds the US responsible for pillaging, however US cannot solve China's problems

Archive
Cambodia

Looters search areas of archaeological importance in Cambodia after bomb disposal experts have de-mined them

Illicit excavations occur as de-mined areas often show no signs of the riches below the surface so authorities do not deploy heritage security teams

Archive
News

Landslide warning at Macchu Picchu

Geologists have found the land on the steep slope at the back of the fortress is sliding down at a rate of a centimetre a month

Archive
Unesco

“Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage”: UNESCO has identified new forms of heritage to the extension of the system of listing World Heritage Sites

28 out of 60 nominations were added to the list, raising awareness of 'masterpieces' that are under threat from modernisation

Archive
Unesco

The US rejoins Unesco, analysis suggests the organisation being used as an extension of US foreign policy, as part of the ongoing 'war on terror'

Congress is expected to approve a $71.4 million payment to Unesco, the first US contribution in 18 years

Archive
Unesco

Places categorised as UNESCO's World Heritage Sites are subject to immense tourism: what is the effect?

As Unesco celebrates the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, this book analyses the effects of its policies in developing countries

Archive
Unesco

Disagreement over possible resurrection of Bamiyan Buddhas

Unesco sends out conflicting press releases

Archive
Unesco

Koichiro Matsuura dubbed "saviour of Unesco"

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, Matsuura explains his reform of Unesco and the return of the US to membership after nearly 20 years

Archive
Unesco

Long the hub of the illicit antiquities trade, Switzerland is moving towards ratification of the 1970 Unesco Convention

Switzerland also debating new national legislation to make the movement of art and artefacts more transparent

Archive
Unesco

"An absolute political priority": Bamiyan Buddhas may be rebuilt

Unesco will convene an international meeting next month to discuss reconstruction

Archive
Unesco

Unesco adopts a new Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage to protect shipwrecks lying in international waters

However, the US and UK say the it conflicts with existing maritime legislation and Russia, Norway, Turkey, and Venezuela vote no

Archive
Unesco

“Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”: A new list by UNESCO

Ancient language, song, dance and performance cannot be kept alive simply in a showcase or tended by curators. This list was produced to highlight their fragility

Archive
Cambodia

The Cambodian World Heritage site, Angkor Wat, is finally being restored

An ongoing effort to restore the ancient site has international teams working altogether but using radically different approaches, resulting in unexpected order

Archive
Unesco

In full: the text of the US Customs import restrictions on Italian archaeological material

The restrictions were imposed following a 1999 request made by Italy under Article 9 of the Unesco Convention

Archive
Unesco

China and US drafting anti-smuggling agreement

A full import ban may not be intended by the Chinese, merely a bilateral agreement to implement the 1970 Unesco Convention

Archive
Unesco

Deliberation over ownership of submerged vessels and their booty at the bottom of the ocean leads to Unesco intervention

An estimated three million shipwrecks lay undiscovered. UNESCO is calling for a global treaty to protect them. Salvors say it is unrealistic and unworkable, despite developments in deep-sea exploration technology

Archive
Antiquities & Archaeology

Decisive times for underwater archaeology: Who owns the watery past?

There are an estimated three million undiscovered shipwrecks scattered throughout the world’s oceans. UNESCO is calling for a global treaty to protect them. Salvors say it is unrealistic and unworkable.

Archive
Unesco

New UNESCO protocol states attacks on cultural property during wartime will be criminalised

A new protocol allows for prosecution of organisations and individuals, putting pressure on art market professionals

Archive
Unesco

Where underwater treasure-hunters go, legislation must follow: Unesco's proposal explained

Unesco is calling for a global treaty to prevent commercial interests from destroying shipwrecks found in international waters

Archive
Unesco

Ten out of forty-six new World Heritage sites confirmed in Italy alone due to the Piedmont’s latest emphasis on culture and tourism

Out of the ten newly designated Unesco sites, the biggest includes eighteen royal Savoy properties

Archive
Unesco

Restored revolutionary Bolivian murals by Miguel Alandia Pantoja remain homeless

As chief restorer of Andorra and consultant to Unesco, Guillamet was invited to save these murals. Months later, as revolution brewed, the paintings were abandoned. Seventeen years later, and this remains the case

Archive
Unesco

The aspirations of Chris Smith, new Labour Secretary of State for National Heritage

Smith hopes for Britain to rejoin UNESCO, aiming divert Lottery funds to health and education

Archive
Unesco

UNESCO has named 37 more sites of global importance

A list of the most important additions

Archive
Restoration

Reviving a war-torn city

A plan to reconstruct Mostar's historic centre