Attending the 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee

Discussion of the Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites which Japan nominated
Lobby of the Qatar National Convention Center where the 38th Session took place

 The 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee was held from June 15 to 25 in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Prior to the session, the Institute analyzed documents regarding the state of conservation of properties on the World Heritage List and documents regarding properties nominated for inscription on the List. The Institute also gathered information on trends related to world heritage during the session.
 During the session, 26 sites were added to the World Heritage List, bringing the total number of sites on the List to 1,007. The Okavango Delta (Botswana), the only African site recommended for inscription on the List by the Advisory Bodies, was inscribed on the List and the order of nominations was modified so that the site would be the symbolic 1,000th inscription on the List. The Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites that Japan nominated for inscription were discussed. Of the 20 Committee Members not including Japan, 18 expressed approval for the site to be inscribed. Many of the Members cited the mill complex, a site of early modern industry, as evidence of the exchange and amalgamation of the technologies of France and Japan.
 During the session, 3 sites were added to the List of World Heritage in Danger and 1 site was removed. One of the included sites was Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines—Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir. Since the site had been submitted as an emergency nomination, it was automatically inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
 Advisory Bodies had recommended that the nomination of 13 sites be deferred, but 8 of these sites were inscribed on the List during the session. One site that was recommended not to be inscribed was inscribed as an emergency nomination and 2 sites that recommended for referral were also inscribed. The prevalence of nomination decisions overturning the recommendations from Advisory Bodies could compromise the Committee’s credibility and transparency. The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo will continue to discern trends regarding Committee sessions.

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