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Until 8 November at Casa Árabe

Cordoba hosts 8th World Heritage Site Managers Meeting

Wednesday 6 November 2019

Organised by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport in partnership with Cordoba City Council, this year's meeting is focused on accessibility under the slogan of 'World Heritage Sites Accessible for All'.

For three days, more than 100 experts will share the accessibility experiences being developed at the 48 World Heritage Sites in Spain and will present the latest initiatives in this regard aimed at cultural heritage management making an active contribution to well-being throughout society. This edition of the meeting will also be attended by outstanding institutions and associations in the field of accessibility.

"We need to enhance the social aspects of heritage as something that supports social integration and inclusion", said Elisa de Cabo, Deputy Director-General for Historic Heritage Protection, at the start of the meeting. "Inclusion of an asset on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites goes beyond mere international recognition. It implies responsibilities and challenges, which include the need for our World Heritage Sites to be accessible for all. That is also one of the objectives set in the 2030 Agenda, which calls for safe, sustainable and inclusive cities and sites", she said.

José María Bellido, Mayor of Cordoba; Laura Ruiz, Historic City Centre Councillor; Cristina Casanueva, Regional Delegate for Culture and Public Works; and Javier Rosón, Coordinator of Casa Árabe in Cordoba also spoke at the opening ceremony.

Following the initial presentation, the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Disabled Citizens (Spanish acronym: CERMI) opened the meeting with a framework talk on accessibility in cultural heritage. Among other topics, the event will discuss examples of best practices applied to World Heritage Sites in Spain, such as those applied to the Way of St James, the Rock Art along the Mediterranean Arch, the Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon, the Garajonay National Park and the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida.

On 7 November, attendees to the meeting will take part in a tour around the historic city centre of Cordoba under the conditions of someone with accessibility needs. On the next day, they will visit the mosque-cathedral, the Alcázar baths and the city centre to discover the accessibility solutions offered in each place.

Spain has the third-highest number of World Heritage assets

Spain has a total of 48 cultural assets on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites and is the third ranked country on this list behind only China and Italy. These sites include the city of Cordoba, which has been tied to World Heritage since 1984 when the mosque was added to the prestigious UNESCO list.

10 years later, in 1994, the declaration was expanded to include the historic city centre. More recently, at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting in Bahrain in 2018, the archaeological site of the Caliphate City of Medina Azahara also received this recognition.

Non official translation