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UNESCO to examine Delhi’s bid for World Heritage City in Sept

World Heritage city

World Heritage city

New Delhi: A team from UNESCO will be visiting the national capital sometime during September to examine the city’s heritage sites, which are part of a dossier sent by India to the world body in pursuance of Delhi’s bid for a World Heritage tag.

Delhi Chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) had prepared the “voluminous” dossier on behalf of the Delhi government, which was eventually submitted to UNESCO by the Union Culture Ministry in January.

The two areas listed in the nomination dossier are — Shahjahanabad in old Delhi which has the Mughal-era heritage and Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone (LBZ) in New Delhi, part of the new imperial capital designed by Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker after the 1911 Delhi Durbar.

“We are constantly in correspondence with the UNESCO regarding this and so far what we have got to know is that a team from their side would be visiting sometime in September to evaluate the sites that have been nominated in our dossier,” Convener, INTACH Delhi Chapter A G K Menon told.

“The visit is likely to be of two to three days during which the team will evaluate the heritage sites to ascertain the claims made in the dossier,” Menon said.

He said the dossier has been meticulously prepared and runs into several pages and “also has many annexures attached to it”, detailing the sites.

On the composition of the team, he said, while nothing has been made official from their (UNESCO) side about its composition, “I’m sure they will send people who understand India, its ethos, and its cultural and economic context.”

“Indian cities cannot be compared with their European counterparts. So, for Delhi’s Shahjahanabad, which is ancient and yet a living city, an organic city, economic constraints do impinge upon the conditions of such places. But, I still have positive vibes about it and we hope for the best,” he added.

After evaluation of the sites here, the UNESCO will then eventually decide on “inscribing” the city in the World Heritage List, the announcement for which would be made in June 2015.

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