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World Heritage Sites

An international movement for the protection of heritage emerged after World War II, following the decision to build the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. The dam would have flooded the valley containing the ancient Abu Simbel temples. To prevent this, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched a campaign in 1959 resulting in the successful relocation of the temples. A draft convention on the protection of cultural heritage was subsequently initiated by UNESCO in collaboration with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). In 1965, a conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., for the first time proposed the linking of cultural and natural heritage, calling for a “World Heritage Trust” that would stimulate international cooperation to protect “the world's ...

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