Fuzhou (dpa) – The decision to include the Danube limes as part of the border of the former Roman Empire on the World Heritage List has been postponed.
The committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural and Communications Organization (Unesco) decided on Monday at its meeting in Fuzhou, China, that a working group should discuss the follow-up to the procedure in the coming days.
In its Bavarian section, the Danube Limes stretches from Bad Gögging in the district of Kelheim via Regensburg and Straubing to Passau.
During the lengthy discussions, there was talk of an “unprecedented case” after Hungary left the joint bid with Germany, Austria and Slovakia in the short term. The International Council for the Preservation of Monuments (Icomos) underlined during the debate that, without Hungary, around 400 kilometers and therefore more than half of the border had been removed from the application. There is therefore no valid assessment of the project as to whether it is a site of “outstanding universal value”, which would be the basis for classification as a World Heritage site.
The decision will likely be made this week
There was disagreement among Member States on whether the remaining parts of the Danube Limes should still be inscribed on the World Heritage List without further evaluation. Host China finally made the proposal to create a working group. A decision was expected this week.
Two years ago, an equally surprising maneuver resulted in the decision being postponed. At that time, shortly before the meeting, Hungary withdrew from the nomination part of the Danube limes in the area of the archaeologically preserved Roman city of Aquincum, north of Budapest.
The Unesco committee then returned the request for revision so that the candidate States could make the change in coordination with Icomos. It was also necessary to consider the extent to which the removal of a significant part affects the integrity of the nomination as a whole.
The limes stretched from Great Britain to Central and Eastern Europe and from the Middle East to North Africa. Unesco is working for the complete transnational inscription of the 6000 km long “frontiers of the Roman Empire”.
The fortifications along the Danube are the third part of this major project after the Hadrian and Antonine Wall, which had already won awards in Great Britain (1987/2008) and the Germano-Retian Limes in Germany (2005). On Tuesday, a decision must be taken on the Lower Germanic part in the Rhineland and the Netherlands.
With Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen, of which eight other European spas have been designated “Great Baths of Europe”, and the artist colony Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt, Germany has already received two new World Heritage sites at the current Unesco session. On Tuesday there will be another German nomination: Jewish cultural heritage in Mainz, Speyer and Worms.