Lumbini--the World Heritage
The World Heritage Committee meeting in Naples, Italy, has formally included LUMBINI--the birthplace of Lord Buddha in the World Heritage List. This was announced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Thursday, 4th December 1997 in Naples, Italy.
The World Heritage List states Lumbini is inscribed on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria iii and vi:
As the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, the sacred area of Lumbini is one of the holiest places of the world’s great religions, and its remains contain important evidence about the nature of Buddhist pilgrimage centre from a very early period.
According to Association Press Lumbini was included with dozens of other sites like Pompeii as world cultural treasures, and wildlife parks in Africa and an ancient Albanian village on UNESCO’s endangered culture list.
All of the 10 cultural and natural sites proposed by Italy won entry on Unesco’s World Heritage list, announced at a conference in Naples.
Selection makes sites eligible for UNESCO’o funding and improve their chances in lobbying home countries and international organizations for money and technical expertise needed for restoration and improved security.
Before this conference, 506 sites had earned UNESCO’s designation during the last quarter-century. Four dozen sites were added to the list on 4 December 1997.
The committee’s recommendation for future action at Lumbini is to mobilize international resources in scientific and technical fields and in site management, especially with regard to ancillary services for visitors and pilgrims.
The original nomination of Lumbini, which was deferred by the World Heritage Bureau at its 17th Session in June 1993, included a number of separate archaeological sites associated with the life and work of the Lord Buddha. Two of these, Kapilavastu (Tilaurakot), where the Lord Buddha lived as Prince Siddhartha before his enlightenment, and Ramagrama, the only relic stupa not opened by Ashoka, now figure as individual sites on the tentative list submitted by the State Party, which has been advised by a former President of the World Heritage Committee to combine them with Lumbini as a serial nomination.
The committee for considering, ICOMOS has shown no objection in principle to this proposal, but it is of the opinion that the current state of knowledge, conservation, and management of both is not sufficiently advanced to permit their being included in the present nomination. It recommends that this should await the completion of the programme of non-destructive archaeological investigation, using geophysical techniques, during the coming biennium and preparation of satisfactory conservation and management plans.
0nce this work has been completed, the State Party should be invited to submit the two sites as extensions to an existing inscribed site of Lumbini, with a change of title indicating the association of all three with the life and work of the Lord Buddha.
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