Tunisian sites flagged for World Heritage List

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After visiting the archaeological site of Oudhna (about 30km west of Tunis), the Tunisian Minister of Culture Ezzeddine Beschaouch announced a list of 46 sites and monuments to be officially inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

The amphitheatre at Oudhna [Credit: lucinafrica]

The minister revealed a non-exhaustive list of archaeological and natural sites throughout Tunisia. The list includes the Ribat of Monastir, Borj Khedija in La Chebba, Mahres, Djetrba, the Medina of Sfax (the ramparts and the mosque), Thyna and Jbeniana, Kerkennah, Djebel Chaambi Reserve, Thala, Hidra, Tabarka, Bulla Regia and Chamtou. 

The list was jointly presented with the Tunisian Minister of Tourism and Commerce, Mehdi Houas. Beschaouch highlighted that Tunisia is rich with historical monuments pertaining to diverse civilizations, which “merits more than seven sites inscribed as world heritage sites.” 

He indicated that this proposal is not a question of prestige but aims at highlighting the historical and natural value of the sites and to use them in the service of cultural tourism. Houas also reiterated the importance of these sites in the promotion of cultural tourism in Tunisia and its rich 3000 year-old civilization. Houas stressed that cultural tourism can be a good and permanent alternative to seasonal tourism. 

The Capitol building, the second largest structure at Oudhna after the amphitheatre [Credit: lucinafrica]

Beschaouch added that the ministry will set up a program to commercialize this new touristic and cultural element by inviting ambassadors to Tunisia to visit one monument or historical site per month. 

The program was announced from the archaeological site of Oudhna in the presence of 37 representatives of diplomatic missions who toured the Oudhan amphitheatre and the Roman Capitol, which are currently undergoing restoration work. During recent excavation works in the town of Oudha, Tunisian archaeologists discovered impressive Roman ruins underneath the amphitheatre. 

Author: Houda Mzioudet | Source: Tunisia Live [December 09, 2011]

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