18.04.2012 - UNESCO Office in Amman

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and UNESCO join forces to promote World Heritage in Jordan

© Vanessa KaoukjiPress conference at Quseir Amra on the occasion of International Monunemts and Sites Day

© Vanessa KaoukjiQuseir Amra

Amman 18 April, 2012 – On the occasion of the International Monuments and Sites Day the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities held a special event to celebrate Jordan’s diverse cultural heritage and raising public awareness on the importance of preservation and heritage management at the World Heritage Property of Quseir Amra. The event took place on April 18 at the World Heritage Site of Qusair Amra, a unique desert establishment of Umayyad period, decorated with exceptionally well-preserved frescos and was attended by experts in heritage conservation, academics, youth and national and regional media.

Together with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, UNESCO discussed the importance of cultural and natural world heritage and the role of UNESCO. Jordan is home to four properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, three cultural (Petra, Quseir Amra, Um er-Rasaas), and one mixed cultural and natural (Wadi Rum). However, there are also 15 Properties submitted on the Tentative List of World Heritage Properties, with the Jerash Archaeological City or the Baptism Site being the most prominent.

Participants at the event agreed that public participation in preserving sites in Jordan is vital for their conservation and protection. Especially, it was agreed, it is children and youth that need to be exposed to tailored heritage education. Another suggestions was the establishment of an alternative tourism track to link a number of sites of great historical significance as part of a circuit that brings less known sites to the attention of locals and visitors.

UNESCO is currently implementing a project that aims at engaging young people in their heritage “UNSECO has reviewed the school curricula in Jordan and closely analyzed how heritage is mentioned and taught, which heritage sites are being visited by schools of which age groups and how this is related to what is being taught. Based on our findings we are currently preparing innovative teaching packages for students and teachers of different grades relating to specific sites in Jordan” said, Anna Paolini Head of the UNESCO Office in Amman.

A visit to the site followed the discussions, where the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities accompanied by the Head of UNESCO Office in Amman led the attendees, including local and regional media representatives. Guides explained the site to the guests and experts exchanged information on the laudable renovation and preservations efforts exerted by the government and various partners.

The International Monuments and Sites Day, also known as World Heritage Day is an occasion to celebrate the diversity of heritage throughout the world. This day was established following a proposal of the International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and was endorsed as “International Monuments and Sites Day” by UNESCO in 1983. Since 1983, this day is celebrated yearly on 18 April, offering an opportunity to promote World Heritage globally and to raise awareness on critical conservation and protection issues. This years’ theme was World Heritage in tribute to the 40th Anniversary of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

For more information on the Qusair Amra World Heritage site follow the link

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