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Bali Lobbies for Heritage Site Status

UNESCO Official Visits Taman Ayu Temple Complex – One of Three Bali Sites Now Being Considered for World Heritage Status.

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As reported on, Bali is in the final steps of a process seeking United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approval to name three Bali destinations as World Heritage Sites. If successful, the Jatiluwih Rice Terraces in Tabanan, Pura Taman Ayun in Badung and the Pakerisan River valley in Gianyar will be added to UNESCO's list human and natural history sites marked for careful preservation. [See: Seeking Recognition for Bali's Heritage]

On Wednesday, March 12, 2008, the Director General UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, visited the Pura Taman Ayu religious site at Mengwi in Bali accompanied by Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, and Indonesia's UNESCO cultural ambassador actress Christine Hakim.

After viewing the four-century-old Taman Ayu complex, Matsuura warned the Indonesian daily Kompas that while he was both moved and persuaded by his first hand visit to the Bali temple, there are many heritage sites nominated for UNESCO status, but only few are actually chosen for the honor.

Matsuura used his participation at a Ministerial Review Meeting on Education for All held in Bali March 10-12, 2008, to visit the Taman Ayu Site [See: Bali Hosts World Summit on Literacy]

Admiring the physical setting of Taman Ayu and its surroundings, Matsuura reminded all that the active participation of the local community in preserving a cultural site plays a key role in any final decision for Heritage Site selection by UNESCO

If any or all of the 3 Balinese sites is finally selected at the next general assembly of UNESCO they will join three other Heritage Sites already found in Indonesia, namely: the Borobudur Buddhist Temple Complex near Yogyakarta; the Sangiran early man site near Solo; and the Prambanan Hindu Monument in Klender. All three of these cultural sites are in Central Java.

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