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Opinions & Interviews

13 Dec 2016

Inclusion into UNESCO’s World Heritage List boosts development of local communities

Inclusion into UNESCO’s World Heritage List boosts development of local communities

MINSK, 13 December (BelTA) – Inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage List boosts the development of local communities, Olga Popko, Deputy Chairperson of the Permanent Commission for International Affairs of the House of the Representatives of Belarus, said during the roundtable session held in BelTA’s press center on 13 December to discuss UNESCO’s role in preserving and promoting Belarus’ national cultural heritage.

To illustrate her opinion, Olga Popko mentioned the inclusion of Mir Castle into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Until recently, Ms. Popko was a director of the Mir Castle complex. "Since the inclusion of Mir Castle into the UNESCO World Heritage List, the town of Mir has flourished, new jobs have been created. A new kindergarten was built, as the old one was too small for the current number of toddlers in the town. Now, Mir is a place where it is nice and prestigious to live.”

What is more, the World Heritage status enhances the prestige of the country in the world, added Olga Popko. People change their attitude to Belarus and want to come here when they get to know that the country has the World Heritage sites.

Belarus now has only four World Heritage sites, and this is good because they compete between each other, noted Olga Popko. The World Heritage sites are, as a rule, the first choice to visit in a country.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to prepare the portfolio of the new objects for the submission to the World Heritage List to extend the presence of Belarus in it. But we need to take current trends into account and do not waste much effort to promote the objects that have little chance to be put onto the list, believes Olga Popko. "There are lot of high-level World Heritage sites in the world, and, therefore, it is difficult to prove the unique and specific character of some of Belarusian sights. The situation is better among natural sights. We have a lot of authentic places that deserve to be put on the tentative list. As for architectural heritage, there is not much hope for us," Olga Popko summarized.

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