Kyoto to wrap up UNESCO World Heritage 40th anniv. events next year

Pillars supporting the main hall of Kiyomizu Temple in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, are seen in this photograph taken on June 10, 2011. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Japanese government decided Tuesday to host in Kyoto on Nov. 6 to 8 next year a wrap-up of international meetings to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1972 adoption of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, government officials said.

The Kyoto forum will come after a series of commemorative events in China, Spain, the United States and other countries in 2012. The ancient Japanese capital has some cultural properties on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Participants are expected to review the role played by the United Nations Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organization convention and how to preserve the world’s cultural and historical heritage in the future, they said.

The convention was adopted on Nov. 16, 1972, to form a system for the collective protection of cultural and natural heritage sites of outstanding universal value and has been signed by 187 countries.

Tokyo will also consider the possibility of holding a related event in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, one of the three prefectures in northeastern Japan devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Hiwaizumi is home to a cluster of Buddhist temples including Chusonji, a temple known for its Golden Hall, which was registered earlier this year as a World Heritage cultural site along with its landscape.

(Mainichi Japan) October 19, 2011

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