Madrid will know this Sunday if it enters the World Heritage list


Madrid, Jul 24 (EFE) .- Madrid’s ambition to enter the Unesco World Heritage list with its ‘Landscape of Light’, made up of the Paseo del Prado and the Buen Retiro park, will receive its final response this Sunday, when the Unesco committee will decide on its inclusion.

The verdict of the Unesco World Heritage Committee will put an end to a process whose beginnings date back seven years ago and which seeks to settle the debt that, understands Madrid, the organization has with the city, since it is the only capital of Western Europe without presence in the catalog.

The destination of the ‘Landscape of Light’ will be known early Sunday afternoon in the Chinese city of Fuzhou, where the Unesco World Heritage Committee holds its annual meeting that, because of the pandemic, arrives with a year late and in blended format.

The Prado Museum will be the headquarters of the candidacy on the key date, and from there the committee session will follow, by telematic means, the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta, and a representation of the Community of Madrid still to be announced.

In order to make the Prado-Retiro axis the forty-ninth Spanish asset inscribed on the Unesco list, the Madrid candidacy must obtain the favorable vote of 14 of the 21 countries represented in the committee, an objective that the City Council of the capital, main promoter of the project, come with caution but with good feelings.

The ‘Landscape of Light’ concentrates art- Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Museo Thyssen-Bornemiza, Museo Naval-, science and knowledge -Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid, Royal Observatory of Madrid, Royal Spanish Academy – and spaces of power and citizen representation, such as the Congress of Deputies, the Bank of Spain or the Madrid Stock Exchange.

It also includes such significant enclaves as the Puerta de Atocha Station, the Ritz or Palace hotels, the Círculo de Bellas Artes or the church of San Jerónimo el Real.

In addition, defends the Consistory, it represents a “universal model”, since the Paseo del Prado was “the first mall” designed in a European capital and was later exported to America.

For all these reasons, the City Council trusts in being able to convince the voting countries, in a diplomatic effort led by the Spanish ambassador to UNESCO, Andrés Perelló, and which will be decisive.

The ‘Landscape of Light’ would be the fifth site in the Community of Madrid inscribed on the World Heritage list, together with the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the University of Alcalá de Henares and the historic center of this municipality, the cultural landscape de Aranjuez and the Hayedo de Montejo, which is part of the property ‘European primary beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe’.

This designation could almost lead Spain, with 49 goods registered in the catalog, only surpassed by Italy and China, both with 55 goods.

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