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UN Puts Uzbekistan's Shahrisabz On World Heritage Endangered List

  • RFE/RL

The United Nations' World Heritage Committee has added the historic center of Shahrisabz in Uzbekistan to its list of endangered world heritage sites due to overdevelopment.

The committee on July 13 said it was concerned about the destruction of buildings to make way for tourist infrastructure in the city's medieval neighborhoods. It said the construction of hotels and other modern buildings had made "irreversible changes to the appearance of historic Shahrisabz."

The committee asked UNESCO to send a mission to assess the extent of damage and propose appropriate corrective measures.

Historic Shahrisabz, located on the Silk Road in southern Uzbekistan, is more than 2,000 years old and was the cultural and political center of the Kesh region in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The committee said it is particularly valued for its unrivaled collection of religious and secular monuments from the period of its apogee under the rule of Turco-Mongol leader Amir Temur and the Temurids from the 15th and 16th centuries.

The site was given world heritage status in 2000. Listing it as endangered is a move intended to galvanize local and international support for its protection.

With reporting by AFP