TRAVEL GAZETTE – The World Heritage Committee is set to review the nomination of 29 new sites during its 40th session slated for July 10-20 in Istanbul, a Turkish government official said on Monday.
In addition, 156 sites already on the World Heritage List and those on the List of World Heritage in Danger will be subjected to the examination of the committee under the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said Nabi Avci, Turkey’s minister of culture and tourism.
Among the new sites to be reviewed are nine natural, 16 cultural and four mixed ones submitted from across the world.
Avci told the press that the committee will also discuss the illegal trafficking of cultural relics, which has been on the rise in Syria and Iraq in particular due to the presence of the Islamic State.
Avci’s agency has prepared an emergency red list that includes the images of Syria’s historical artifacts with a view to preventing their illegal trafficking via Turkey.
“The list has been sent to all museums, collectors and customs gates to facilitate the recognition of the historical artifacts that have been stolen from Syria,” said the minister.
Some 2,000 people from around the world are expected to participate in the annual session of the World Heritage Committee, which was formed in 1977 to enforce the World Heritage Convention and manage the World Heritage List created based on the convention.