What makes World Heritage status?

 By Kelly Wakefield

  World heritage sites belong to all people around the world and so The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) encourages “the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity”.  There are currently 38 places in the UK, including Blackpool and the City of Lincoln, being considered as candidates by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport for status in 2011.  So what makes a place worthy of World Heritage status?  A recent BBC article highlighted a point made by the Heritage Lottery Fund that “heritage is now much more about people and places, what people value as important.”  Well known examples of sites such as Stonehenge conjure up images of mass tourism and it seems that gaining World Heritage status helps to do this.  Not so well known sites may benefit from the publicity from gaining status,  despite not gaining money directly from UNESCO. 

Pocock, D (1997) “Some reflections on World HeritageArea, volume 29, issue 3, pages 260-268

        BBC article “What makes a place worthy of World Heritage? 9th August 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Official Website

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