UNESCO: ‘Consulting the responsible authorities’ about alleged mismanagement of historic sites


The Kernow Branch of the Celtic League has taken their concerns about the alleged mismanagement of an historic site in Cornwall to a United Nations (UN) organisation, as part of a long running campaign.

The branch have been working on the historic site and environmental campaign with Cornwall Ancient Sites Protection Network (CASPN) and Save Penwith Moors who claim that English Heritage and English Nature has mismanaged Penwith moors and the historic sites on the moors, in particular the world famous Men-an-Tol site. Now UNESCO has written to the Kernow Branch to say that they have further taken the matter up with the Advisory Body to the World Heritage Committee, ICOMOS International, following their complaints as an organisation with NGO consultative status with the UN.

The latest letter from the Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre in Paris, to branch Convenor, Mike Chappell, can be found below.
Dear Convenor Mr Chappell

The World Heritage Centre has received your letter dated 30 December2013, by which you reiterated your concerns regarding the management of prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments in West Penwith and pointed out the location of Tregeseal and Man-an-Tol in relation to the World Heritage property of “Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape”

As mentioned in my earlier correspondence, the World Heritage Centre is now consulting the responsible authorities of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on any concerns raised regarding the state of conservation of World Heritage properties on the UK territory. We will therefore transmit your continuous concerns to the State Party for further comments.

We will also share your letter with the Advisory Body to the World Heritage Committee, ICOMOS International, for review regarding any potential threat to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

In the meantime, I encourage you to also maintain direct contact with the authorities concerned i.e. the Head of Heritage Policy at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Thank you for your interest in the safeguarding of cultural heritage.

This communication copied to:
Permanent Delegation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to UNESCO
National Commission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for UNESCO
National Focus Points for World Heritage

Yours sincerely

Kishore Rao

The Culture Sector
World Heritage Centre

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Kernow: Historic Sites Campaign Update


For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary, Celtic League
M: 07787318666
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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