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Flying the flag for World Heritage

18 April 2013

A new flag has been raised above the Edinburgh City Chambers today (18 April) to mark World Heritage Day.

The annual celebration, which is observed across the world, offers an opportunity to raise the public's awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it.

Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns were listed together as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. The site is managed jointly by the City of Edinburgh Council, Historic Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage.

The flag, which is a joint venture to help promote World Heritage Sites in Scotland, will fly for the remainder of the week.

Cllr Ian Perry, Planning Convener, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The Council must strike a delicate balance between overseeing the ongoing development of the city with the need to conserve Edinburgh’s magnificent architecture for future generations to enjoy.

“Every year on 18 April, Edinburgh joins with places around the world in celebrating our World Heritage and, thanks to our partnership with Historic Scotland’, we can now quite literally fly the flag for the cause.”

Also planned for today, from 6.00-7.30pm, is a special FREE event in the Royal College of Physicians, featuring contributions from expert speakers: Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP, Prof. Jacek Purchla (Kracow International Cultural Centre) and Mrs Susanne Hauer (Organisation of World Heritage Cities secretariat).

Organised by Edinburgh World Heritage, and co-sponsored by Historic Scotland, the event will consider how World Heritage can be used to promote and support international co-operation.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: "World Heritage Day serves to remind us not only about the efforts to preserve the Old and New Towns, but also that we are part of global network of sites looking after our shared cultural heritage.

“This will be the theme of our event, with a series of speakers illustrating how World Heritage can aid international co-operation, establishing common ground between places and people that often feel literally and metaphorically far apart.”

Dr Lesley Macinnes, Historic Scotland’s Head of World Heritage Site Co-ordination: “It is fantastic to see the flag fluttering above the city to mark this special day and we were delighted to support the council and Edinburgh World Heritage in achieving this. World Heritage Status is something very precious and something to embrace and this symbol emphasises the importance Edinburgh gives to this international recognition.”  

Further information and tickets for the event available from

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

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For further information

John MacNeil
Media Relations Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827