The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee is taking place in Istanbul from 10 to 20 July 2016.
This year 29 dossiers are being considered by the World Heritage Committee, made up of 21 countries serving six-year terms.
A dossier for the work of architect Le Corbusier, after failed attempts in 2009 and 2011, has been revamped and comes with high marks from a committee of experts who evaluate the submissions. It lists 17 sites across seven countries – France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Japan and India – to show the global reach of the work of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, known as Le Corbusier. The creations show the contributions of Le Corbusier to the Modern Movement that emerged after World War I with an emphasis on functionality, bold lines and new materials such as concrete, iron and glass.
Another architect in the same movement is also under consideration for a World Heritage nod, Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, who laid out the country’s capital Brasilia. Brazil’s dossier wants Niemeyer’s modern ensemble of Pampulha, a leisure center built in 1940 around an artificial lake at Belo Horizonte, to be inscribed on the prestigious list. In the same way, the United States is promoting the works of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, but the experts’ assessment was not encouraging.
Other dossiers reach far back in time, one to Canada’s Mistaken Point reserve with its 560 million-year-old fossils. Cave art dating from the 5th century BC in Zuojiang Huashan in China, the dolmens of Antequera in Spain and Gibraltar’s Neanderthal grottoes are also in contention. Among natural sites under consideration are Iran’s Loot Desert and the Revillagigedo archipelago in Mexico.
The World Heritage List today includes 1,031 sites in more than 163 countries. The Heritage Committee will also review the status of 48 sites currently listed as “in danger”. Seven more sites have been proposed to be added to this list, including the Kathmandu valley, which suffered a devastating earthquake last year.