World firsts: exploring UNESCO’s original World Heritage sites; Peter; Atlas & Boots
At last count, UNESCO’s World Heritage List included 1,073 locations across 167 countries or states. Here, we explore the 12 original World Heritage sites first listed in 1978.
The aim of UNESCO’s list is to identify, protect and preserve sites of cultural and natural heritage considered to be of exceptional value to humanity. These sites include a range of locations such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, east Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt and Machu Picchu in Peru.
Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. – UNESCO
Today, Italy is home to the largest number of World Heritage sites with 53, followed by China (52), Spain (46), France (43), Germany (42), India (36), Mexico(34) and the UK (including British Overseas Territories) (31). A total of 37 sites are transboundary meaning they are positioned in more than one country or state.
According to UNESCO, however, location is largely moot. Instead, World Heritage sites “belong to all the peoples of the world”.
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