Will U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO affect Philly’s World Heritage status?; Stephanie Farr; Philly Inquirer


USA – Independence Hall

If you spot the ground moving around Fifth and Arch Streets in Center City on Thursday, it just might be Ben Franklin turning over in his grave.

We can only imagine what the inventor, scientist, writer and Founding Father would think of the State Department’s announcement Thursday that the United States will withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed, is one of just 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States. Other sites include the Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone National Park and Mesa Verde National Park.

Mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said in a statement Thursday that the city was “disappointed by the decision” and officials are trying to determine what, if any, effect it will have on Philly’s World Heritage site and status.

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