Angola seeks world heritage status for Mbanza Kongo

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The Angolan government hopes to submit to UNESCO the first draft of the proposal to make the historical city of Mbanza Kongo in northern Zaire Province a World Heritage site.

Angola seeks world heritage for status Mbanza Kongo
The ruins of a 16th century cathedral (built in 1549) at Mbanza Kongo, said to be the
oldest church in sub-Saharan Africa [Credit: Angola Rising]

Minister of Culture Rosa Cruz e Silva told Angop in an interview that in the current phase, archaeological excavation work was being done at Mbanza Kongo, the seat of rulers of the Kingdom of Kongo, which existed from the 14th to the 19th centuries covering parts of present-day Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The minister added that the work being done to support the candidature of Mbanza Kongo as a UNESCO World Heritage Site also included the collection of bibliography in the Vatican and Portugal.

According to her, the registration of any site as a World Heritage is a process taking years and going through various stages. “The project started in 2007 and we are in 2013. It has been six years of hard work. We believe that in 2015, Mbanza Kongo will be classified as a World Heritage Site,” she stressed.

As for the Chitundu Hulu Caves, Rosa Cruz e Silva claims to be different because it will not need much work, as the physical evidence is visible.

The minister stated that the registration of Angolan sites on the World Heritage list will be a source of pride to Angolans, strengthen the “Angola Brand” and reaffirm national identity

Source: The Malaysian Times [December 27, 2013]