May be of interest to the folks in the South West of England. Although they prolly know all about it already.
The Times, July 14, 2006
Ruins of Cornwall's old mines become new world wonders
By Simon de Bruxelles
RELICS of 2,500 years of mining that litter the Cornish landscape were given World Heritage site status yesterday.The honour ranks the remains alongside
the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and the Pyramids at Giza.
The decision was made at a meeting of Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, in Vilnius, Lithunania.
Heritage status was granted to ten areas of Cornwall and West Devon, where deep mining began in pre-Roman times when Phoenician traders sailed north to
buy tin. They include areas of the Tamar Valley near Tavistock, where the world’s largest copper and arsenic mines prospered 200 years ago. Not only the mines,
but also some of the infrastructure, including villages that housed the miners, are named.
The mines join other World Heritage sites in Britain, such as Stonehenge, Bath and the Jurassic coast of Dorset.
Adam Paynter, chairman of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site Partnership, which led the bid for heritage status, said: “This is
fantastic news. The Cornwall and West Devon mining landscape now officially belongs to the world and we are the custodians charged with ensuring that our heritage is preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
“We should all be amazingly proud that Unesco has recognised the important role Cornwall and West Devon’s mining history has to play.”
Nick Johnson, World Heritage site bid manager, said the that cultural identity of Cornwall and West Devon was transformed by mining during the 18th and 19th centuries. “For a time the region was the world’s greatest producer of tin and copper and provided the essential raw materials for industrialisation of the world,” he said.
“This took on global significance as a result of the mass migration of miners overseas, where 175 locations have known Cornish mining connections.” They include America, Australia, Mexico and Spain. In many places their legacy lives on in place names and traditions.
Stephen Gill, from West Devon council, said: “This puts us on the world map as a place of international significance. Along with bringing a sense of pride to the community, the economic benefits will be huge. It marks the way in which our mining culture was transported around the world, which is why they have pasty shops in Mexico and play rugby in Australia and South Africa.”
· The World Heritage Convention was adopted by Unesco in 1972
· Since then 800 sites have been given special protected status, including 628 cultural and 160 natural sites in 137 countries
· Other sites chosen at the meeting in Vilnius included ancient irrigation systems in Oman, the fortified city of Harar Jugol in Ethiopia, and the palaces of Genoa in Italy
· There are 26 protected sites in the UK, including the Tower of London, Kew Gardens, the city of Bath and the Giant’s Causeway.
· Other protected sites include the Serengeti plain in East Africa, the Pyramids, the Great Barrier Reef and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America
· Inclusion on the World Heritage list makes a country eligible for financial assistance from Unesco and training to help to protect and manage sites [