UN cultural agency removes birthplace of Jesus from its list of heritage

The gospels of the New Testament of the Bible state that Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem, in the reign of King Herod, to Mary and Joseph. The nativity is the basis for the  Christian festival of Christmas.The 43rd session of UNESCO’s #WorldHeritage Committee is currently underway in Baku 🇦🇿 until 10 July.Watch all the debates LIVE here ▶️ https://t.co/7aQpFhxD1K #43whc pic.twitter.com/2wc8LDjiXR— UNESCO (@UNESCO) July 1, 2019 Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, the World Heritage Committee made its decision based on the high quality of work carried out on the church in recent years, including the restoration of its roof, exterior facades, mosaics and doors. The Committee also welcomed the shelving of a project to dig a tunnel under Manger Square and the adoption of a management plan to conserve the site. Just last week reports revealed that archaeologists had discovered inside one baptismal font, or basin of holy water used for the baptism rite, a more ancient font that dates back to the sixth or seventh century.Since the Second Century the church, situated 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem, has been identified by Christians as the birthplace of Christ. While the edifice of a church built there in 339 CE was replaced after a fire in the sixth century, the elaborate floor mosaics were retained from the original building. The official site also includes Latin, Greek Orthodox, Franciscan and Armenian convents and churches, as well as bell towers, terraced gardens and a pilgrimage route.Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2012, due to the poor state of the Nativity Church, it was simultaneously added to the List of World Heritage in Danger. Others on the list include Syria’s ancient cities of Aleppo, Bosra and Damascus, all inscribed in 2013, and the “Maritime Mercantile City of Liverpool” in the United Kingdom – which consists of six locations in the city centre– inscribed in 2012.The 54 properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger aim to alert the international community to threats to essential characteristics for which a property was initially inscribed on the World Heritage List. These can include armed conflicts, natural disasters, unplanned urbanization, poaching or pollution. read more

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SMMT members awarded government funding

SMMT members, Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive, have been awarded funding for the development of an all-electric city car, government announced today. The T.27 project is supported through a £4.5 million investment from the Technology Strategy Board and a matched contribution from the consortium of Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive. Marketed as a sustainable vehicle, the T.27 is designed to minimise the use of materials. The aim is to ensure that the environmental impact of the materials and energy used are as low as possible. The funding will allow the consortium to develop four prototypes of the vehicle by February 2011. Science and innovation minister Lord Drayson said, “The T.27 is a great example of smart engineering and sustainable design. It’s timely too, as the UK must demonstrate its readiness to exploit the emerging low carbon vehicles market. The challenge is far greater than simply meeting stricter EU emissions targets, we need to expand our car industry through green innovation.” The development of ultra-low carbon vehicles provides an important opportunity for the UK motor industry and SMMT is determined to provide the support mechanisms needed to maximise value to the national economy. To prepare for the expansion of ultra-low carbon technology within the UK motor industry, SMMT has set up the Electric Vehicle Group. The group comprises volume manufacturers, niche vehicle producers and component suppliers and plays an integral role in helping to develop government policy and legislation, research and development and technical regulations regarding electric vehicles. For more information on SMMT membership, click here. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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