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Historic Scotland Hosts World Heritage Conference

23 September 2011

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Cultural and External Affairs at World Heritage Conference

Historic Scotland is hosting a three day conference for representatives from Scotland England, and Germany to share experience and practice of managing a World Heritage Site which enriches and links the three countries.

The Frontiers of the Roman Empire (FRE) World Heritage Site currently consists of Hadrian’s Wall in England, the Upper German Raetian Limes and the Antonine Wall in Scotland.  

It is unique in being the first trans-national, serial World Heritage Site with potential constituent parts in several countries that are nominated separately by each country.  

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Cultural and External Affairs said: “Being part of a trans-national site provides an excellent opportunity for Scotland to work with people in other countries, to share information and to promote Scotland on a global scale.

“The practical contribution of World Heritage Sites to Scotland and its future should not be underestimated.  Tourism makes an important contribution to our economy and the cultural and natural heritage of our nation is an extremely important element in encouraging visitors.  

World Heritage Site status is a high accolade that should be celebrated.  By protecting and conserving these sites we are securing their long-term future and allowing appreciation of their cultural and natural value.”

The Cabinet Secretary met officials during a reception at Edinburgh Castle on Thursday 22nd September along with pupils from Glendale Primary School and  Bellahouston Academy, both Glasgow-based, who presented the results and experiences of their recent projects along the Antonine Wall.

For Information

•        World Heritage Sites (WHS) are cultural and/or natural sites considered to be of “outstanding universal value” which have been inscribed on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee. The Committee is governed by the 1972 World Heritage Convention.

•        “Outstanding Universal Value” means that a site is of such importance to all humanity it transcends national boundaries. It is a high accolade that brings with it responsibilities and international scrutiny. The UK has been party to the convention since 1984.

•        The UK currently has 28 World Heritage Sites (Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall are part of a single transnational site which also includes the German limes).

•        There are 5 sites in Scotland: the Heart of Neolithic Orkney; the Antonine Wall; the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; New Lanark and St Kilda.

•        The Frontiers of the Roman Empire (FRE) WHS currently consists of Hadrians Wall in England, the Upper German Raetian Limes and the Antonine Wall in Scotland.

•        The concept of a Frontiers of the Roman Empire WHS was created after the announcement that Germany intended to nominate their frontier as a World Heritage Site in 2003.

•        It is unique in being the first trans-national, serial World Heritage Site – with potential constituent parts in several countries and nominated separately by each of those countries.

•        It is a concept which fits well with the original aims and purpose of the World Heritage Convention to protect the world’s cultural and natural heritage as the property of all humanity.

•        In 2005 the Upper German Raetian Limes joined Hadrian’s Wall on the World Heritage List and the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site was born. In July 2008 the Antonine Wall became the third site to join the FRE.


Notes for editors
1.      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  
2.      Register for media release email alerts from www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/news. If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email hs.website@scotland.gsi.gov.uk   

For further information


Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768096
lesley.brown@scotland.gsi.gov.uk