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UN's World Heritage List adds first sites in DPR Korea and Andorra

UN's World Heritage List adds first sites in DPR Korea and Andorra

Andorra and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have had their first sites inscribed on the United Nations cultural agency's list of places to be preserved as part of the heritage of mankind.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said the cultural landscape of Andorra's Madriu-Claror-Perafita Valley, with its glaciers and craggy cliffs, shows how people survived in the high Pyrenees for millennia. It was added to the World Heritage List yesterday.

The 21-member UNESCO World Heritage Committee, meeting in Suzhou, China, also added the complex of about 30 Koguryo Tombs in the DPRK, the agency said.

Many of the tombs have beautiful wall paintings of daily life and seem to have been built for the Koguryo royalty and aristocracy that ruled parts of northern China, as well as the northern half of the Korean peninsula, from 277 BCE to 668 CE.

The committee also added 40 royal and aristocratic tombs of the Koguryo dynasty and the remains of three of its cities in northern China, UNESCO said.

The committee designated eight other sites, including the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park in Gujarat State and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Station, formerly Victoria Terminus, in Mumbai, both in India, as well as Pasargadae, the capital of the 648 BCE to 330 BCE Persian Achaemenid Empire in Iran.

The committee also chose the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range in Japan, the Um er-Rasas or Kastron Mefa'a Roman archaeological site in Jordan, some 5,000 rock carvings in the Tamgaly Gorge of Kazakhstan and the archaeological landscape of the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia.

The cultural landscape of Norway's Vega Archipelago - dozens of islands inhabited since the Stone Age - and the "Moscow Baroque" Novodevichy Convent in southwestern Moscow in the Russian Federation were also added to the World Heritage List.