by Nikolai MAXAKOVSKY, Cand. Sc. (Geography), Senior Scientific Associate of D. Likhachev Russian Scientific Research Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage (Moscow)
The UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted in 1972, And in keeping with its provisions, ever since 1978 a prestigious international list has been compiled, with some 25 - 30 items added annually representing objects of exclusive significance. In view of their immense value the goal of the list is to attract special attention to the problem of preservation of unique monuments, their popularization and utilization in the spheres of education and tourism.
The idea of international responsibility for preservation of the most valuable cultural and natural objects of global importance was formed in the 1950s- 1960s in connection with the construction of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt and with the impending threat of the Nile waters flooding the ancient Nubian temples. It was then brought home to the world community that their destruction would cause irretrievable damage not only to Egypt and Sudan but also to all peoples of the globe. At the same time it was only too obvious that the two countries in question cannot afford to save these ancient monuments. So UNESCO applied for assistance to all states of the world, and, as a result, considerable funds were collected that made it possible to save these monuments by moving them to a safer location.
As of January 1, 2006, the List included 812 objects, 628 of them represented by cultural, 160-by natural and 24-by cultural-and-natural monuments. Those objects of interest are located on all continents (except for Antarctica), on the territory of 137 countries, Russia among them.
UNESCO experts have elaborated a system often criteria for the World Heritage status to be well deserved. In order to be put on the List it is necessary for the object to
meet at least one of them (for instance, ... Читать далее