17.12.2012 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Brasilia hosts exhibition on World Heritage in Brazil

The Government of Distrito Federal (GDF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, with a view to divulge the cultural, environmental and historical assets of Brazil, launched this Monday (17/12/2012), in the Central Metro Station in Brasília, the exhibit World Heritage in Brazil. The show, which includes 59 exhibition boards with photographs and texts about the 19 cultural and natural Brazilian sites inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, remains open until 11 January 2013.

The exhibit is part of the 2012 celebrations of the 25 years of the inscription of Brasília in the UNESCO World Heritage List as well as the 40 years of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The movable exhibit will go through other metro stations in 2013 and it portrays 12 Cultural Heritage sites, including Brasília, as well as seven Natural Heritage Sites of Humanity that integrate the roster of over 900 inscribed properties in the World Heritage List, with Outstanding Universal Value.  

Our main goal is to sensitize the population about the importance of this title for Brasília, as it will allow it to remain an unique city. Future generations will be able to get to know this site that was made by Brazilians for Brazilians and became a great modern cornerstone. We should be proud to be included among this select group of heritage cities”, says Luis Otávio Neves, Secretary of Tourism of DF.

UNESCO Brazil Office Director Lucien Muñoz highlights the importance of seizing this moment of celebration to reflect about the significance of the title of Cultural Heritage of Humanity for Brasília: “The zeal towards the preservation of the first modern city to be included in the World Heritage List must be a day-to-day activity and a responsibility belonging not just to the government but society as a whole”.

The inscription of Brasília in the World Heritage List

Brasília was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 11 December 1987. It is one of the few properties of the 20th century and – most exceptionally – the only planned city in the modern movement to feature the UNESCO World Heritage List. Brasília embodied the international urban design ideas of the Fifties and translated the principles of the Athens Charter of 1933, issued by famous Modernist architects. The Brazilian experience stands out for the grandiosity of its act, which was not just the final chapter of a historical process but was also integrated to a development and self-affirming national strategy.

The Cultural Heritage of Brasília comprises monuments, buildings or sites with historical, aesthetic, archaeological, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value and the understanding of its preservation re-affirms the need to put into practice public policies capable of ensuring the protection of this heritage.
The concept of Cultural Heritage of Humanity translates the understanding that its application is universal. World Heritage sites belong to all peoples in the world, regardless of the territory where they sit.

Brazil’s adhesion to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

Brazil has adhered to the World Heritage Convention in 1977. Initially focused on historical interest property, the Brazilian list became more diverse and nowadays reflects the efforts in the country towards building a balanced and wide-ranging representation of its notable cultural and natural diversity. Among the range of Brazilian properties considered World Heritage are the Amazon and Pantanal; the rich collection of Baroque art and architecture from the colonial period; Brasília, the capital, with its Modernist architecture; one pre-historical site, Serra da Capivara, the understated city of Goiás, with its vernacular techniques and tradition; the cultural landscape of the city of Rio de Janeiro, among others.

Brazilian sites and dates of inscription as World Heritage

1.    Historic Town of Ouro Preto
2.    Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda
3.    Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor (Argentina), Ruins of Sao Miguel das Missoes (Brazil) *
4.    Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia
5.    Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas
6.    Iguaçu National Park
7.    Brasilia
8.    Serra da Capivara National Park
9.    Historic Centre of São Luís
10.    Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves
11.    Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves
12.    Historic Centre of the Town of Diamantina
13.    Central Amazon Conservation Complex 4
14.    Pantanal Conservation Area
15.    Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves
16.    Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks
17.    Historic Centre of the Town of Goiás
18.    São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão
19.    Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea

Press information
UNESCO Brazil – Press office
Isabel de Paula – phone (61) 2106-3538, 9962-6408
Ana Lúcia Guimarães – phone (61) 21063536, 99663287

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