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Architecture: Defending the world's treasures

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee meets in the autumn of each year to identify and protect 'cultural and natural properties considered to be of outstanding universal value and, by virtue of this quality, especially worth safeguarding for future generations'. Money, raised by Unesco member countries is directed to selected properties through the World Heritage Fund. Great Britain is not a member (it believes Unesco to be politically unsound), although a number of British cities might be deemed in need of Unesco protection. The Unesco World Heritage List is now as long as it is varied. Cities under its care include Old Havana (Cuba), Quito (Ecuador), old Jerusalem (listed by Unesco as being a part of Jordan), Valetta (Malta), Krakow (Poland), the ancient city of Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka), Damascus (Syria) and old Dubrovnik (Croatia). Serbia, however, is even less impressed with Unesco than Great Britain and has wasted much money and many lives recently undoing the restoration of old Dubrovnik. JG

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