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unesco rejects bethlehem application

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO is likely to reject the submission from the Palestine delegation to recognize the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on the World Heritage List. 
 
The issue will be discussed at the forthcoming session of the World Heritage Committee (St-Petersburg 24 June – 6 July 2012),  but a draft decision reflecting this proposal, prepared on the basis of the recommendations of the Scientific advisory body to the Committee, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), recommends its rejection. The Committee is of course not bound to adopt this draft decision.

The application was made on an emergency basis citing an immediate concern about damage to the Basilica. However, it was opposed by the leaders of the three churches which share the responsibility for administering the Church of the Nativity (Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian), who wrote to Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority to express their opposition to the inscription of the Church of the Nativity on the list.
 
UNESCO did recommend that the international community should help to facilitate the conservation of the sites in Bethlehem.