On July 31, 2007, an old Japanese silver mine known as Iwami Ginzan was declared by Unesco to have “outstanding universal value” and added to the World Heritage List alongside Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Local Japanese were bewildered. Abandoned in 1923, the site now consists of little more than a hole in the ground.
Fast-forward four years. At the Wikimedia Conference in March, a German coalition proposed that Wikipedia become the first digital World Heritage site. A petition was drafted, declaring Wikipedia “a masterpiece of human creative genius.” Unesco was not impressed. A spokeswoman suggested that Wikipedia apply for something called the Memory of the World Register.
Never heard of that before? Recent inductees and applicants include the Stockholm City Planning Committee Archives, the Benz patent of 1886, and Autochthonous Ethnic Music of the Caucasus on CD-ROM.
Read the rest of the article, here.