MoHC workshop discusses registering 16 more sites for Unesco World Heritage List

Delegates at the workshop held at the Park Inn Hotel on Sunday (Muscat Daily)

Muscat - 

The Ministry of Heritage and Culture (MoHC) is continuing its efforts to register 16 more sites on the Unesco World Heritage List.

On Sunday, it held a workshop in this regard with international specialists.

Oman currently has four properties registered on the list - the Bahla Fort, the archaeological sites of Bat, Al Khutm and Al Ayn, the Land of Frankincense and the aflaj system. The sultanate submitted a tentative list of eight properties comprising 16 sites in 2012, according to Karim Hendili, programme specialist at the Arab States Unit of the Unesco World Heritage Center.

Seven sites were seen as complying with the submission form, but nine others need further information. "This is what this workshop is about. We are trying to see what are the aspects which should be reinforced,” he said.

If the sites get approved for review, a long process follows to see if they can be inscribed on the World Heritage List. The main site in focus at the workshop was the ancient city of Qalhat. Hendili said registering on the World Heritage List was a way of assuring that the sites will be conserved. "The essence of the [World Heritage] Convention is conservation,” he said, adding, “The inscription of sites is one of the key tools to achieve that conservation.”

He said the sites held symbolic value. “The major benefit is it's recognition as contribution of part of your heritage as a country to the global history of humanity.” There are 1,007 properties registered on the World Heritage List.

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