Sao Francisco Square in Brazil becomes UNESCO's World Heritage

08:12, August 03, 2010      

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The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has decided to include the Brazilian Sao Francisco Square in the World Heritage List at its 34th meeting being held here, a Brazilian official said on Monday.

"The Sao Francisco Square is a unique example of a particular moment of our history, the period of the Iberian Union (in the 16th century), when Portugal and Spain were united under a single Crown," said Luiz Fernando de Almeida, president of Brazil's National Institute of Artistic and Historic Heritage (IPHAN).

The site is located in the city of Sao Cristovao, State of Sergipe (Northeast Region), which is one of the oldest cities in the country.

The city was listed for protection by IPHAN on Jan. 23, 1967. The institute purchased and restored one of the two-story houses of the square, where it currently holds a technical office and cultural exhibits.

The Sacred Art Museum is also part of the historic complex, and holds the 3rd largest collection of that type of art in the country. Also installed in the area is the Sergipe Museum, where visitors can look at items belonging to noble families in the area.

"Holding the title of World Heritage adds value to the site and attracts foreign visitors, who cherish this title more than Brazilians," the chief of Igua u National Park, listed as UNESCO's World Heritage since 1986, Jorge Pegoraro told Xinhua.

Pegoraro believes that it is necessary to promote campaigns in Brazil on the importance of this World Heritage title.

The Sao Francisco Square is the 18th Brazilian site which has been included in UNESCO's World Heritage List, out of which seven are natural and 11 are cultural.

The World Heritage Committee said that up to Aug. 3 at its 34th Meeting, 32 new sites have been proposed for inscription as World Heritage, out of which six are natural, 24 are cultural and two are mixed. Currently, UNESCO's World Heritage List comprises 890 sites.

Besides deciding on the World Heritage List, the committee is also examining the state of conservation of 31 sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Source: Xinhua


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