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U.S. Will Nominate San Antonio Missions As World Heritage Site

Published on 23 January 2014

Discover the World Of Judaica

by Office of the Spokesperson


Washington, D.C.

The Mission San Antonio De Valero, Better Known As The Alamo
The Mission San Antonio De Valero, Better Known As The Alamo

The United States is nominating the San Antonio Missions, including the Alamo, for inclusion on the World Heritage List, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced January 17.

“World Heritage sites represent an incredible opportunity for the United States to tell the world the whole story of America and the remarkable diversity of our people and beauty of our land,” Jewell said. “The San Antonio Missions represents a vital part of our nation’s Latino heritage and the contributions of Latinos to the building of our country.”

This nomination will be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in the summer of 2015. If approved by the World Heritage Committee, it would join 21 other U.S. sites on the list.

The UNESCO World Heritage List was established under the World Heritage Convention, a treaty for natural site conservation and cultural site preservation. The United States was the first nation to ratify the pact, which was proposed by President Richard Nixon in 1972.

There are 981 sites in 160 of the 190 signatory countries, including such iconic places as the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, the Great Barrier Reef, Yellowstone National Park and the Statue of Liberty National Monument in the United States.

The Department of the Interior is undertaking the nomination with the full cooperation and written support of all the property owners within the boundaries of the nominated area, including the National Park Service, the State of Texas, the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio, Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio River Authority, the Espada Ditch Company, the San Juan Ditch Water Supply Corporation, and Los Compadres de San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.

These owners and partner organizations cooperated to prepare the nomination in consultation with the National Park Service’s Office of International Affairs, the principal technical agency for the United States’ participation in the Convention.

The nomination will be submitted through the U.S. Department of State to the offices of the World Heritage Centre in Paris. After reviews by World Heritage Centre staff and by the International Council for Monuments and Sites, the Word Heritage Committee — a body of 21 nations elected among the signatories to the convention — will consider it for inscription on the World Heritage List.

Inscription as a World Heritage Site does not impose any legal restrictions on property owners or neighbors of sites, nor does it give the United Nations any management authority or ownership rights.


The San Antonio Missions in the U.S. state of Texas are considered the most complete and intact example of Spain’s efforts to colonize, evangelize and defend the northern frontier of New Spain during the period when Spain controlled the largest empire in the world.

Situated along a 7.7-mile (12.4-kilometer) stretch of the San Antonio River, these five Spanish colonial mission complexes were built in the early 18th century. More than 50 standing structures, archaeological resources and landscape features include labores, a rancho, residences, a grist mill, granaries, workshops, wells, lime kilns, churches, conventos, and perimeter walls for protection.

The collection of missions also includes extensive agricultural irrigation systems of acequias, dams and an aqueduct.

Under the World Heritage Committee’s operational guidelines, properties must be included on a country’s Tentative List before they can be nominated. The San Antonio Missions were included on the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List resubmitted in January 2008.

There are 12 more properties or groups of properties on that list. Of these, the “Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point” in Louisiana was nominated in 2013 and will be considered by the World Heritage Committee in the summer of 2014. A nomination is being developed for a group of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Decisions on the timing and sequence for other nominations will be made periodically by the Department of Interior, according to the January 17 announcement.


For more information about this press release including the current roster of World Heritage Sites and contact details http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2014/01/20140122291399.html



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Posted 2014-01-23 10:01:00