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India's Nalanda among 9 new cultural sites added to World Heritage List

By Ians

Istanbul, July 16: The World Heritage Committee on Friday added nine new cultural sites, including India's Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara, to the prestigious World Heritage List.

The committee, at its 40th session in Istanbul, made the decisions following a day-long review of some of the 27 nominations submitted from around the world for this year, Xinhua news agency reported.

Nalanda added to World Heritage List

The new inscriptions include the sites from China, Iran, Micronesia, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Britain and a joint nomination by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia also.

Newly put on the heritage list are Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (China); Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (India); the Persian Qanat (Iran); Nan Madol: Ceremonial Center of Eastern Micronesia (Micronesia); Stecci -- Medieval Tombstones Graveyards (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia); Archaeological Site of Philippi (Greece); Antequera Dolmens Site (Spain); Archaeological Site of Ani (Turkey) ; and Gorham's Cave Complex (Britain).

Nan Madol, a series of 99 artificial islets that host the remains of stone palaces, temples, tombs and residential domains built between 1,200 and 1,500 BC, was also placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The heritage committee cited the importance of the ancient qanat system, which conveys water in underground tunnels using gravity in the middle of arid desert areas in Iran.

The Medieval Tombstones were lauded for their symbolic universal message of peace.

At its meetings until Sunday, the World Heritage Committee under the UN cultural agency UNESCO will review the nominations of 18 other sites to the World Heritage List, among them are nine natural, five cultural and four mixed ones.

The committee, which was formed in 1977 to enforce the World Heritage Convention and manage the heritage list created based on the convention, began its current 11-day session on July 10.


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