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Poland to host 41st UNESCO World Heritage Committee
April 26, 2017, 5:30 pm

The 41st session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee will take place from 2 and 12 July, 2017 in Kraków, Poland. The session, which will be attended by representatives of 21 member states that form the committee, will make decisions concerning cultural and natural heritage sites worldwide.

The agreement to host the UNESCO event was signed on behalf of Poland by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and Natural Heritage, Prof. Piotr Gliński in Paris on 19 April 2017. The 41st session of the World Heritage Committee, which will be organized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, will be chaired by Professor Jacek Purchla, President of the Polish National Commission for UNESCO, Director of the International Cultural Centre.

The World Heritage Committee is made up of 21 countries which have been elected from among the states which ratified the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972. The governments of State Parties elect members of the Committee for six-year terms by the General Assembly. Currently, it is made up of Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Poland, which sits on the Committee for the second time since its inception. The current term, which started in 2013, ends in October 2017.

The World Heritage List includes historical buildings as well as natural monuments, geological formations and ecosystems, plus cultural landscapes. To date, 1052 items spread across 165 countries have been inscribed on the List.

“UNESCO World Heritage relies on a clear and positive vision of humanity united around shared values and common history. At a time when culture and people are under attack in too many parts of the world, we need to foster this vision and that is the purpose of this year’s session in Krakow: to join forces to safeguard heritage and strengthen a sense of unity of the whole human race,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

“In today’s world, marked by the tragedy of Aleppo and the fate of Palmira, the reconstruction of Warsaw and the painstaking reconstruction of its monuments after WW2 send a positive message to all who have seen their towns destroyed by hostilities. Destruction does not have to spell the end of a town’s existence, it could be the beginning of its reconstruction,” said Deputy Prime Minister Gliński.

He added that the 41st session will continue the tradition of commemorating World Heritage List sites, fourteen of which are located in Poland. Poland’s request for inscribing a site on the World Heritage List this year concerns Tarnowskie Góry underground, i.e. lead, silver and zinc ore mines with their underground water management system in Tarnowskie Góry.


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