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More Stuff: Sicilian sites to get UNESCO World Heritage status
The Italian National Commission for UNESCO has approved and transferred to the Paris headquarters of the UN body the candidature of 'Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedral churches of Cefalù and Monreale' for listing as 2015 World Heritage sites. The announcement was made by the head of the commission, Sicily native Giovani Puglisi.

Sicilian sites to gain UNESCO World Heritage status
The Monreale Cathedral, Sicily [Credit: WikiCommons]

''This result,'' he said, ''not only adds more value to a territory that undoubtedly deserves a better future than what has been handed to it by the political mishaps of the past few years, it also inserts into UNESCO World Heritage a one-of-a-kind site, since the Byzantine and Arab-Norman heritage in Palermo's historical and artistic sites is the only one in the world with its cultural syncretism spanning religious and political divides.''

Sicilian sites to gain UNESCO World Heritage status
Byzantine-style mosaic of Christ Pantokrator in the Cefalù Cathedral,
erected by Roger II in 1131 [Credit: WikiCommons]

''In Sicily,'' Puglisi went on to say,''over its millennial history, no religious-cultural experience was ever eliminated. Each simply grew alongside the other, preserving and respecting its values and traditions.''

Sicilian sites to gain UNESCO World Heritage status
Cefalù Cathedral, Sicily [Credit: WikiCommons]

He concluded by saying that the procedure for the candidature included a technical assessment by the Italian Ministry of Culture, approval by the Italian National Commission for UNESCO and transfer to Paris for its completion. The official declaration is expected to come in the late spring or summer of 2015, ''and therefore in time for Palermo to open its doors and its heritage to visitors to Expo Milano 2015''.

Source: ANSA [January 30, 2014]