Spain – UNESCO approves creation of Category 2 World Heritage Centre

The UNESCO General Conference has approved the creation in Spain of a Category 2 World Heritage Centre. The centre will operate under the Ministry of Culture and be dedicated to rock art and to the World Heritage Convention. The initiative thus recognises the valuable rock art heritage that exists in Spain and the high level of research and commitment to conserving these assets undertaken by the institutions and administration services of the Spanish State.

The creation of this centre will enable Spain, the second country on the list of World Heritage sites, to enhance management and conservation quality with regard to these assets and become an international benchmark in terms of meeting the responsibilities arising from the World Heritage Convention.

The centre will foster cooperation and networking with the other Category 2 Centres and will involve the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID), universities, associations, heritage institutes and institutes forming part of the National Centre for Scientific Research in the project. It will also be open to collaboration and contributions from the regional governments.

Spain occupies a leading position on the list of World Heritage sites with such iconic locations as the Altamira Cave, the Rock Art of the Cantabrian Mountains, the Rock Art of the Mediterranean Basin, the Archaeological Basin of Atapuerca and the Rock Art of Siega Verde, with a total of 765 caves and deposits. Furthermore, Spain is involved in the UNESCO Action Plan on Prehistory that is aimed at increasing knowledge and protection of this category with very little representation on the List of World Heritage Sites.

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