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Unesco News

Serbian church leader threatens 'force' if Kosovo joins UN agency

Belgrade - The head of Serbia's Orthodox Church Tuesday warned of using "force" if Kosovo were accepted as a member of the UN cultural agency UNESCO and holy sites there were recognised as belonging to the breakaway territory.

Israel accuses UNESCO of 'fueling flames' with Al Aqsa motion

Jerusalem - Israel on Thursday accused the UN's cultural body of fanning tensions in the region by approving a resolution that criticised the Jewish state for "aggressions" against Muslims seeking access to a Jerusalem holy site.

Arabs' draft UNESCO resolution on Al-Aqsa draws Israel ire

Paris - A group of Arab states has angered Israel by submitting a draft resolution to the UN cultural body stating that Jerusalem's Western Wall -- the holiest site at which Jews can pray -- is an "integral part" of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Kerry pleads for U.S. re-election to UNESCO board despite owed dues

Paris - US Secretary of State John Kerry pleaded Sunday for the United States to be re-elected to UNESCO's executive board, pledging to do his utmost to restore US funding to the UN cultural body "in full.

UN's Blue Helmets to protect world's heritage from IS: Italy

Rome - Italy said Saturday that UNESCO has approved its suggestion to have the United Nation's famous Blue Helmets protect heritage sites around the world from attacks by Islamist militants.

Japan hits out as UNESCO archives Nanjing massacre documents

Toukyo - Japan on Saturday lashed out at UNESCO's decision to inscribe documents related to the Nanjing massacre in its Memory of the World register, describing it as "extremely regrettable" and calling for the process to be reformed.

'Rape of Nanjing' inscribed in UNESCO Memory of the World register

Paris - Documents related to the Nanjing massacre, a Japanese military rampage that Beijing says killed 300,000 people in 1937, were inscribed Friday in the Memory of the World register kept by the UN's scientific and cultural body.

Syria archeological sites looted 'on industrial scale': UNESCO

Sofia - Archeological sites in Syria are being looted "on an industrial scale," with proceeds being used to fund Islamic State extremists, the head of UNESCO warned Wednesday.

Destruction of Palmyra temple 'crime': UNESCO

Paris - The United Nations' cultural watchdog on Tuesday condemned the destruction of the famed Temple of Bel in Syria's Palmyra by Islamic State jihadists as an "intolerable crime against civilisation".

Palmyra temple destruction by IS a 'war crime': UNESCO

Paris - The head of the UN cultural watchdog on Monday branded the destruction by IS jihadists of an ancient temple in Syria's Palmyra ruins as a "war crime.

Dispute deepens over Madagascar's 'pirate shipwreck'

Antananarivo - Documentary makers following the marine archaeologists who say they found 17th-century pirate William Kidd's sunken ship defended the team's work on Wednesday after a UNESCO report dismissed their claims.

Explorer's 'pirate wreck' claim false, says UNESCO

Antananarivo - UNESCO on Tuesday threw cold water over an American explorer's claims that he had discovered the sunken treasure of infamous 17th-century pirate William Kidd off the coast of Madagascar.

Japan hails new UNESCO listing despite Korean qualms

Toukyo - Japan on Monday celebrated the inscription of Meiji-era industrial sites on UNESCO's World Heritage list, despite initial opposition from Seoul over the use of forced Korean labourers in the early 20th century.

Japan's Meiji industrial sites win UN world heritage status

Berlin - The UN's cultural body on Sunday conferred world heritage status on a number of new sites including some seen as representative of Japan's industrial revolution, as South Korea lifted its opposition to the listing.

Corks fly in France as Champagne, Burgundy win UNESCO status

France's wine-making region of Champagne and a part of Burgundy have been granted "World Heritage" status by UNESCO. This latest designation brings to 41 the number of French sites on the UN's world heritage list.

Hamburg's historic port warehouses win UN world heritage nod

Berlin - The UN cultural agency Sunday designated Hamburg's historic maritime warehouse and business districts, boasting early 20th century German brick architecture, as World Heritage sites.

Jamaica's Blue and John Crow Mountains named World Heritage site

Kingston - In a first for the Caribbean country, Jamaica's beautiful Blue and John Crow Mountains were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site on Saturday during the World Heritage committee's 39th annual meeting in Bonn, Germany.

UNESCO lists Yemen world heritage sites as endangered

Berlin - The UN cultural agency on Thursday placed two ancient cities in conflict-torn Yemen, Sana'a and Shibam, on its list of endangered World Heritage sites.

Australia hails 'tremendous' UN barrier reef decision

Sydney - Australia Thursday hailed a United Nations decision to keep the Great Barrier Reef off its in danger list as "tremendous", but activists warned more must be done to improve the marine park's health.

Alamo, French champagne vineyards vie for World Heritage status

Paris - The legendary Alamo battleground and the vineyards that produce France's beloved champagne are among the sites likely to get World Heritage status at a UNESCO meeting starting Sunday.

UNESCO condemns air strike on heritage site in Yemen capital

Sanaa - UNESCO condemned an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on Old Sanaa Friday, a heritage site in Yemen's capital it described as "one of the world's oldest jewels" of Islamic culture.

Australia welcomes UN call on Great Barrier Reef

Sydney - Australia on Saturday welcomed a draft decision by the United Nations to keep the Great Barrier Reef off its endangered list, but environmentalists warned of ongoing risks to the natural wonder.

Destruction of Palmyra would be 'enormous loss to humanity:' UNESCO chief

Paris - The destruction of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra would be an "enormous loss to humanity", the head of the organisation warned on Thursday after Islamic State fighters seized the ancient Syrian city.

UNESCO chief 'deeply concerned' about Palmyra, urges ceasefire

Paris - The head of UNESCO said on Wednesday she was "deeply concerned" about fighting in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra and called for an "immediate" end to hostilities.

UNESCO condemns 'severe' bombing damage to Sanaa old town

Paris - The United Nations cultural agency on Tuesday condemned "severe damage" caused to heritage sites in Yemen, such as Sanaa's old city, during intense bombing of the rebel-held capital.

Australia spending big money to lobby UNESCO against reef listing

The conservative Abbot government is pushing hard to prevent the Great Barrier Reef from being classified as “endangered”. If the reef is classified as such, it could throw a wrench in the conservative government's plans.

UNESCO to award press freedom prize to jailed Syria activist

Paris - The UN's cultural body will on Sunday award its annual press freedom prize to Mazen Darwish, a Syrian journalist and rights activist who has been jailed by the regime for more than three years.

France's Hollande steps back in time at giant cave replica

Vallon-pont-d'arc - French President Francois Hollande on Friday stepped 36,000 years back in time into a darkened, cool cave to admire the earliest known figurative paintings of hands, bears, rhinos and panthers.

World Bank dam and foreign land-grab force out Ethiopian tribes

World Bank and China join Ethipoia's government to relocate 200,000 villagers of the Omo River and Lake Turkana Valley, UNESCO protected "Cradle of Mankind," to replace them with super-irrigation plantations and hydroelectric plants aimed at exportation.

Pompeii collapsing due to weather and slow restoration plans

Pompei - Heavy rains have again threatened to destroy parts of the ancient city of Pompeii, This time, the unrelenting rains caused a landslide, partially collapsing a retaining wall in the Garden of Severus along the rocky south of Pompeii.
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Unesco Image

 Sea Shepherd meets the  Tree shepherds  is the name of this photo by Gary Stokes
"Sea Shepherd meets the "Tree shepherds" is the name of this photo by Gary Stokes
Gary Stokes photography
Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park covers 857.54 sq. Km. (211 902.7 acres). Created in 2001  it was ...
Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park covers 857.54 sq. Km. (211,902.7 acres). Created in 2001, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003.
Why is this less valuable than a few bucks? Ask the spreadsheet-worshippers.
Why is this less valuable than a few bucks? Ask the spreadsheet-worshippers.
Australian Geographic
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Kilim Geoforest park, Langkawi, Malaysia
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Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton (near Melbourne), VIC, AU
Champagne vineyards near Fleury-la-Rivière in the  montagne de Reims   Marne  Champagne-Ardennes  F...
Champagne vineyards near Fleury-la-Rivière in the "montagne de Reims", Marne, Champagne-Ardennes, France.
The Son Doong Cave in Vietnam is the biggest cave in the world. It s over 5.5 miles long  has a jung...
The Son Doong Cave in Vietnam is the biggest cave in the world. It's over 5.5 miles long, has a jungle and river, and could fit a 40-story skyscraper within its walls.
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Goth Phil
Lunenburg  Nova Scotia. Home of the Bluenose 11
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Home of the Bluenose 11
Looking back at the opening to Son Doong.
Looking back at the opening to Son Doong.
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A scenic panorama  Dinosaur Provincial Park  Alberta  Ca.
A scenic panorama, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Ca.
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The entrance to the Underground River in Palawan
The entrance to the Underground River in Palawan
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And eagle in the mangrove
And eagle in the mangrove
Palmyra  view from Qalaat Ibn Maan  Temple of Bel and colonnaded axis.
Palmyra, view from Qalaat Ibn Maan, Temple of Bel and colonnaded axis.
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Pre-Columbian stone sphere  located at the University of Costa Rica as a symbol of tradition and anc...
Pre-Columbian stone sphere, located at the University of Costa Rica as a symbol of tradition and ancient wisdom.