World cultural heritage

The 1972 UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, specifies in Art. 1 that the following shall be considered as ‘cultural heritage’:
  • << monuments : architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science;
  • groups of buildings : groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science ;
  • sites : works of man or the combined works of nature and of man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological points of view >>.
Each State Party to the Convention has the duty of ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural (and natural) heritage referred to in Art. 1 and situated on its territory. It will do all it can to this end, to the utmost of its own resources and, where appropriate, with any international assistance and co-operation, in particular, financial, artistic, scientific and technical, which it may be able to obtain.
To this end every State can submit to the World Heritage Committee, a UNESCO’s body, an inventory of property forming part of its cultural and natural heritage, situated in its territory and suitable for inclusion in the World Heritage List, a list of properties forming part of the cultural heritage and natural heritage, as defined in Articles 1 and 2 of this Convention, which it considers as having outstanding universal value.

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