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Minister welcomes UNESCO delegates

12 November 2008

UNECSO Ministerial Meeting at the Scottish Parliament. From left to right; Dr Mechtild Rossler, Culture Minister Linda Fabiani and Professor Manfred Wehdorn.

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani today (Wednesday, 12 November) welcomed international heritage delegates to Edinburgh.

The Minister met with Dr Mechtild Rössler and Professor Manfred Wehdorn at the Parliament as the pair begin a visit to report on conservation within the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site for UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre next year.

Ms Fabiani said: “I am delighted that Dr Rössler and Professor Wehdorn accepted our invitation to see the developments in Edinburgh for themselves. In Scotland we are committed to all of our World Heritage Sites and preserving their outstanding universal values.

“Edinburgh is a thriving capital with a wonderful and globally important history that is recognised by all of the bodies that play a part in managing this incredible city. We continue to invest in making Edinburgh a vibrant and beautiful place to visit, live and work.”

The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh was inscribed as a WHS by UNESCO in 1995.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee accepted an invitation from Scottish Ministers to visit Edinburgh at a meeting in July in Quebec. Following their visit Dr Rössler and Professor Wehdorn will draft a report on the conservation of the WHS for the Committees next meeting in 2009 in Seville.

Cllr Jenny Dawe, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council: “I am extremely proud of Edinburgh's World Heritage status and our beautiful architecture, which attracts people to live, visit, study and invest in Edinburgh.  We are also a living city that is continuously evolving with all new developments scrutinised and receiving fair appraisal.

“I believe that heritage and development both contribute to the fantastic quality of life that Edinburgh offers.  I am glad that the UNESCO delegation have a very busy programme that will enable them to meet key interests and to see for themselves just how much Edinburgh values its heritage.”

Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH) works to protect, conserve and promote the site. Funded by Historic Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council, it invests more than £1 million every year in projects throughout the World Heritage Site.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: "There is broad agreement that the needs of heritage, development and the city’s different communities can be accommodated, and the mission is here to see how we work towards that goal. Their experience, with an overview of over 850 World Heritage Sites, will be enormously useful in informing that wider discussion.

“World Heritage status shines a positive light on Edinburgh, reflecting both the intense urban pride of generations of Edinburgh residents as well as the values that we share with other World Heritage Sites across the globe – authentic and unique places that have had an impact on the development of all humanity.”

Professor Wehdorn is visiting on behalf of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and Dr Rössler is the Chief of Europe and North America for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Notes for editors

  • UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. For more information visit www.unesco.org.

  • 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. For more information visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.


For further information


Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873
lesley.brown@scotland.gsi.gov.uk