Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

A look at two Asian cities offers a glimpse at the challenges faced once a location makes the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's list. One, the former royal city of Luang Prabang in Laos, was listed in 1995; the other, Malaysia's trading port George Town, won its spot in 2008. While the factors shaping the two cities' futures differ, they share a common experience: Even as a listing helps preserve architectural heritage—and draws tourism—it can change the character of the local communities that are an integral part of the site's cultural value.

To read more, click here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Perils of Popularity

World Heritage status places sites in the global spotlight, but does little to protect them from the tourists that follow.

In the 38 years since UNESCO launched its World Heritage program to help preserve cultural and natural treasures, nearly 900 sites—including Pompeii, Machu Picchu, and Angkor Wat—have earned the distinction. But some conservation experts now say that the uncontrolled tourism development that follows World Heritage designation may do more harm than good for the very sites the program was meant to protect.

Read more, here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spain to reopen access to prehistoric cave paintings

MADRID — Spain's Altamira cave, which contains some of the world's most important prehistoric paintings, will reopen to the public at the end of the year for the first time since 2002, the government said Tuesday.

A panel of experts will determine how many people can enter the cave located some 30 kilometres (19 miles) west of the northern city of Santander without damaging the paintings, Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde told reporters.

To read the whole article, click here.