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As important as the Taj Mahal? The Palestinian refugee camp seeking Unesco world heritage status

For 70 years, the ramshackle Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem has been a site of displacement. Why is this ‘heritage of exile’ not enough for Unesco to grant it the status it gives Macchu Picchu and Venice?The Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem doesn’t look much like your usual Unesco world heritage site. For a start, there are no souvenir stalls or swarms of trinket hawkers. Instead, cracked concrete walls covered with Arabic graffiti frame the entrance to a corner shop, where an old phot...
Tags: London, World news, Culture, Architecture, Unesco, Middle East and North Africa, Palestinian territories, Art and design, Heritage, United Nations, Refugees, Bethlehem, Macchu Picchu, Petti, Mosaic Rooms, Sandi Hilal


Netflix and Unesco search for African film-makers to ‘reimagine’ folktales

Competition opens to find six young creators in sub-Saharan Africa who will be funded to produce movies for 2022For Nelson Mandela they were “morsels rich with the gritty essence of Africa but in many instances universal in their portrayal of humanity, beasts and the mystical.”Passed down through the generations, whispered at bedtimes and raucously retold by elders, folktales have long been a mainstay of African cultural heritage. Continue reading...
Tags: Film, Africa, World news, Netflix, Culture, Unesco, Nelson Mandela, Global development, Saharan Africa


‘It is our identity’: two Congos seek Unesco listing for rumba

Joint bid aims to add musical style that inspired independence to list of intangible cultural heritageAuthorities in Kinshasa and Brazzaville, the capitals of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Republic, have submitted a joint bid to add Congolese rumba to the Unesco list of intangible cultural heritage. The list helps demonstrate the diversity of heritage and raises awareness about its importance. If Congolese rumba were to be added, it would join the hawker food of Singapo...
Tags: Music, Singapore, Africa, World news, Culture, Unesco, United Nations, United Arab Emirates, Finland, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic Of Congo, KINSHASA, BRAZZAVILLE, Congo Republic, Congo-Brazzaville


A peek behind the curtain: inside North Korea – in pictures

Hong Kong native Ted Lau’s new book tries to understand everyday life in the ‘dystopian utopia’ of a totalitarian country shrouded in mystery Continue reading...
Tags: Travel, Hong Kong, Books, North Korea, Society, World news, Culture, Asia Pacific, Art and design, North Korea Holidays, Art and design books, Ted Lau


Matera: the gorgeous Italian hill town film-makers can’t resist

Anyone from Jesus to James Bond has been seen in the Unesco heritage site now open for business after lockdownAs audiences have come to expect with the James Bond franchise, the locations are almost as show-stopping as the high-adrenaline plot twists. The latest, No Time to Die, is no exception, thanks to La La Land cinematographer Linus Sandgren, and the film’s location scouts.As always, London looms large as the HQ for MI6; Port Antonio in Jamaica makes an appearance, as this is where author I...
Tags: Travel, Europe, London, Film, Religion, World news, Culture, Unesco, Italy, Christianity, James Bond, Ian Fleming, Denmark, Thrillers, Jesus, Faroe Islands


We don’t need Unesco listing, says new Liverpool heritage chief

Alan Smith dismisses ‘naive’ removal of city’s world heritage status, but suggests a scaled-back applicationLiverpool’s new heritage chief has insisted the city does “not need” Unesco world heritage status – but said he was still considering a fresh effort to reclaim its once-cherished title.Alan Smith, Liverpool’s head of heritage preservation and development, said that being stripped of the mantle had “no impact at all” on visitor numbers, but that he was keen to get it back. Continue reading....
Tags: UK News, Culture, Unesco, Liverpool, Heritage, Alan Smith, Alan Smith Liverpool


Gilgamesh Dream Tablet to be formally handed back to Iraq

The 3,600-year-old tablet that shows parts of a Sumerian poem will be returned by the US to the country it was taken from in 1991A 3,600-year-old tablet showing part of the Epic of Gilgamesh will be formally handed back to Iraq by the US on Thursday.The tablet, known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, shows parts of a Sumerian poem from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the world’s oldest known religious texts. It is believed to have been looted from a museum in Iraq in 1991, and “fraudulently” entered ...
Tags: Books, Iraq, Poetry, US, World news, US news, Culture, Unesco, Middle East and North Africa, United Nations, US Department of Justice, Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh Dream Tablet


‘I was sliding towards the drop and couldn’t stop’ – the writer who fell from a mountain

It is every climber’s worst nightmare. In this extract from his thrilling book about the glorious – and treacherous – Cuillin Ridge on Skye, Simon Ingram recalls the day its wild peaks almost took his lifeI had been out of signal for most of the day, so when my phone suddenly stirred in my pocket, I decided to have a look. Remembering a climbing maxim – “Don’t try to do two things at once” – I shouted for my friend Kingsley to hang on, stopped and took out my mobile. The message was junk, but I ...
Tags: Travel, Books, Fitness, Environment, UK News, Culture, Conservation, Health & wellbeing, Mountaineering, Walking, Hobbies, Kingsley, Cuillin Ridge, Skye Simon Ingram


Are slogan hats the new slogan T-shirts?

Baseball caps and bucket hats used to be about accessibility. But a new school of wearers are using them to express something about themselvesSpotting a man wearing a baseball cap that featured only the name Rachel Cusk, the British author beloved of LRB subscribers, stopped me mid-scroll. A cultural commentator I follow had posted a selfie to his Instagram feed saying: “Copped the hottest hat.” Continue reading...
Tags: Travel, Books, Fashion, Hotels, Life and style, Culture, Hats, LRB, Rachel Cusk


Cyprus’s haunting new underwater sculpture park – in pictures

Musan, a gallery of sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor exploring our relationship with nature, has opened off Ayia Napa Continue reading...
Tags: Travel, Europe, Photography, Environment, World news, Cyprus, Culture, Wildlife, Art and design, Biodiversity, Travel Photography, Cultural Trips, Beach Holidays, Europe Holidays, Jason deCaires Taylor, Cyprus Holidays


Krabi Town, Thailand – Like an Outdoor Art Gallery

Most people barely give Krabi Town a second glance. If they visit at all, they stay overnight on their way to Railay Beach, Koh Lanta, or the Phi Phi Islands. But during a recent visit to Railay Beach, I decided to stop over in the town of Krabi for three days and was pleasantly surprised ... Read more The post Krabi Town, Thailand – Like an Outdoor Art Gallery appeared first on Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel.
Tags: Travel, Culture, Thailand, Cultural Travel, Asia Travel, Krabi, Railay Beach, Phi Phi Islands, Krabi Town, Krabi Town Thailand, Railay Beach Koh Lanta


UK cultural landmarks may lose world heritage status, says Unesco chief

Exclusive: UN body warns ministers they must do more to protect Britain’s historic landmarksUK cultural landmarks such as Stonehenge could be stripped of their coveted World Heritage status unless the government curbs “ill-advised development” and protects historic sites for future generations, a Unesco chief has warned.Dr Mechtild Rössler, the director of Unesco’s World Heritage Centre, urged ministers to “do everything” they can to conserve the UK’s treasures after Liverpool became only the th...
Tags: UK, UK News, World news, Culture, Unesco, Britain, Liverpool, Heritage, United Nations, Un, Stonehenge, Dr Mechtild Rössler, World Heritage Centre


Jungle Cruise review – the Rock’s Disney theme-park actioner takes predictable turns

Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson are romancing riverboat adventurers in a ride-turned-film that quickly becomes blandThe Jungle Cruise theme-park ride is a riverboat trip that Disneyland visitors have been queuing up for since the 1950s: an old-timey craft travelling down an artificial jungle river, with a jolly captain pointing out animatronic animals lurching out of the artificial undergrowth. Now it’s been adapted into a blandly inoffensive piece of generic entertainment: screenwriters Glenn Fi...
Tags: Travel, London, Film, Dwayne Johnson, Disney, Culture, Brazil, Walt Disney Company, Theme Parks, Disneyland, Whitehall, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall, Lily, Bad Santa, Frank


Psiri Athens – a neighbourhood guide – for street art and nightlife

The bohemian neighbourhood of Psiri in Athens is a cool place to visit, if you want get a more authentic and less touristy feel of Greece’s vibrant capital city. It’s one of the oldest areas of Athens, close to all the major attractions, with artisan shops, coffee bars and street art to see in the day. After dark, the area is transformed into a buzzing nightlife district, as bars and restaurants come to life.
Tags: Travel, Europe, Greece, Activities, Culture, Athens, Southern Europe, UK & Europe, Psiri Athens, Psiri


Stonehenge may be next UK site to lose world heritage status

Britain is eroding global reputation for conserving its historic assets, culture bodies are warningWhy could Stonehenge be stripped of world heritage site status?The UK is eroding its global reputation for conserving its “unparalleled” historic assets, culture bodies have warned, with Stonehenge expected to be next in line to lose its coveted World Heritage status after Liverpool. Related: Unesco strips Liverpool of its world heritage status Continue reading...
Tags: UK, London, Scotland, UK News, World news, Culture, Unesco, Britain, Liverpool, Heritage, United Nations, Cornwall, Edinburgh, Stonehenge, Kew Gardens, Palace of Westminster


Liverpool’s heritage is not under threat | Letter

Gavin Davenport, the chair of Merseyside Civic Society, responds to Unesco’s decision to strip the city of its world heritage statusRe the disappointing decision by Unesco to strip Liverpool of world heritage status (21 July), the value of Liverpool as a world heritage city goes far beyond the narrow encapsulation of the original citation. Heritage is about the life and utility of a historic city’s environment and must serve its citizenry. Having lived in Liverpool since before world heritage st...
Tags: Culture, Architecture, Unesco, Liverpool, Heritage, Gavin Davenport, Merseyside Civic Society


Liverpool has been vandalising its waterfront for a decade – it’s shocking Unesco didn’t act sooner | Oliver Wainwright

Losing world heritage status has shone a light on the city’s redevelopment from maritime metropolis to pound-shop Shanghai, plagued by allegations of bribery and corruptionUnesco strips Liverpool of its world heritage status“A certificate on the wall” is how Liverpool’s former mayor Joe Anderson used to describe the city’s Unesco world heritage status. The unbridled contempt he showed for his own city’s architectural heritage has now come to its logical conclusion: the certificate has ended up i...
Tags: UK News, Culture, Architecture, Unesco, Art and design, Liverpool, United Nations, Shanghai, Joe Anderson, Oliver Wainwright


Unesco strips Liverpool of its world heritage status

UN body says years of development have caused ‘irreversible loss’ to historic value of Victorian docksLiverpool has been stripped of its coveted world heritage status after Unesco blamed years of development for an “irreversible loss” to the historic value of its Victorian docks.The UN’s heritage body concluded at a meeting in China on Wednesday that the “outstanding universal value” of Liverpool’s waterfront had been destroyed by new buildings, including Everton football club’s new £500m stadiu...
Tags: China, UK News, Culture, Architecture, Unesco, Liverpool, Heritage, United Nations, Everton, Un


Athens Street Art – discover these amazing murals and artists!

Since the financial crisis of 2009 and the austerity years that followed, the Athens street art scene has been a way of telling stories about the Greek reality, an outlet for protest against punishing hardship and unemployment. In Athens, graffiti has always been entwined with political opinion and dissent. The term comes from the Greek word Graffito, “to write” and no doubt the ancient Greeks were scrawling political slogans on alley walls many centuries ago!
Tags: Travel, Europe, Greece, Activities, Culture, Athens, Street Art, Southern Europe, UK & Europe


10 of Croatia’s best crowd-free places in for a

With Croatia set to go on to the green list, we pick quiet islands and beaches for a post-lockdown escapeLast summer, visitors who managed to make it to Croatia had a taste of what the country was like before the days of mass tourism. And it tasted good. But while honeypots such as Dubrovnik were unrecognisably quiet, there have always been parts of the country where you don’t have to wade through crowds.Places where things move at a less hurried pace, where Croatian life can be savoured, where ...
Tags: Travel, Culture, Heritage, Croatia, Beach Holidays, Walking Holidays, Summer Holidays, Dubrovnik, Europe Holidays, Croatia Holidays


Take the High Road To Taos

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Tags: Travel, History, Culture, United States, New Mexico, North America, Destinations, Southwest, Boomer Road Trips, Taos


Joni Mitchell kept me going through lion country | Letter

Ruth Borthwick on how singing songs from Ladies of the Canyon and Blue sustained her courage on a dangerous tripSinging songs by Joni Mitchell, whose album Blue turned 50 this week (Joni Mitchell’s Blue: my favourite song – by James Taylor, Carole King, Graham Nash, David Crosby and more, 22 June), kept me going as I trekked through lion country in Uganda in 1981. As a solo traveller, I had been frustrated by my attempts to visit safari parks in Kenya – no pedestrians allowed. But people told me...
Tags: Travel, Music, Africa, World news, Uganda, Culture, Kenya, Safaris, Nile, Joni Mitchell, Idi Amin, Blue, Africa Holidays, Buckinghamshire Continue, Ruth Borthwick, Uganda holidays


Venice may be put on endangered list if cruise ships not banned, says Unesco

The UN heritage agency says the historic centre is in danger if ships are not diverted to another portThe UN art heritage agency has said it would examine a proposal to put Venice on its endangered list if the lagoon city does not issue a permanent ban on cruise ships docking there, according to the Italian news agency Ansa.Unesco said on Monday it will discuss the issue at its plenary session on July 16-31. If approved, the agency could demand urgent action by the Italian government by next Feb...
Tags: Europe, World news, Culture, Unesco, Heritage, Italy, United Nations, Un, Venice, Shipping Industry, Ansa Unesco


Voluntourism: new book explores how volunteer trips harm rather than help

‘Don’t do as we did,’ says Pippa Biddle, who highlights colonial structure of industry where unqualified Western tourists pay to volunteer abroadSeven years ago, Pippa Biddle wrote a blog post about volunteering abroad. She recounted her struggles speaking Spanish to children living with HIV in the Dominican Republic and how local people in Tanzania would spend all night redoing the construction work she and her classmates had done poorly.“Taking part in international aid where you aren’t partic...
Tags: Travel, Books, Children, Race, Society, World news, Culture, Charities, Voluntary sector, Aid, Global development, Colonialism, Tanzania, Volunteering, Inequality, Dominican Republic


Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand – A Great Escape from Smoke Season in Chiang Mai

Every spring, when farmers burn their fields, a thick blanket of smoke descends upon my home in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Most years, I’m traveling at this time, but this year COVID-19 put a crimp in my normal schedule. I could leave, but if I did, I couldn’t come home. I thought I could tough it ... Read more The post Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand – A Great Escape from Smoke Season in Chiang Mai appeared first on Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel.
Tags: Travel, Culture, Thailand, Beaches, Chiang Mai, Asia Travel, Krabi, Railay Beach, Chiang Mai Thailand, Krabi Thailand, Smoke Season


The Ordained Dton Yaang Naa Spirit Trees of Thailand

The first time I saw the Dton Yaang Naa trees I was transfixed. I was returning from a press trip to learn about the care of Elephants in the Kingdom of Thailand, when our van driver turned down Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road. Twin rows of behemoth trees flanked the narrow, twisting road as far as I ... Read more The post The Ordained Dton Yaang Naa Spirit Trees of Thailand appeared first on Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel.
Tags: Travel, Culture, Thailand, Buddhism, Asia Travel, Lamphun, Kingdom of Thailand, Ordained Trees, Spirit Trees, Thai superstitions, Dton Yaang Naa Spirit Trees, Chiang Mai Lamphun Road Twin


20 things to do in Birmingham Alabama

Of all the places I visited on my Alabama road trip, Birmingham was the one that had the most Big City feel, with high rise buildings and walkable streets laid out in a grid system. Known as “The Magic City”, Birmingham Alabama sprang up from nowhere in the 1870s, with rapid growth on the back of the iron and steel industry. This is an important place to understand the Civil Rights legacy of the 1960s, when Birmingham hit the world spotlight because of protests that led to the end of legali...
Tags: Travel, Usa, Activities, Alabama, Culture, Birmingham, North America, Birmingham Alabama, Big City, Magic City Birmingham Alabama


Kimono reflections in a crumbling section of Tokyo’s subway system

This fantastically old and crumbling section of Tokyo’s subway system is a firm favourite of mine. It’s patched up beyond belief, there’s piping all over the place, and even if you don’t see them, you can hear rats running around behind the wall panels. Oh, and there’s that bit of protruding rock in the background too. A wonderfully unintended feature that was a key part of another kimono photo I took back in 2018. It’s here if you’d like to see it. Opting to try and incorporate the mirror rathe...
Tags: Travel, Photography, Culture, Tokyo


20 fun things to do in Huntsville Alabama

The easy going city of Huntsville in Northern Alabama makes a great starting point for a road trip through the Deep South of the USA. Known as “The Rocket City” there’s a contrast between high tech connections to the US Space Programme and the low rise Downtown area, that gives the city a small-town feel. Among the fun things to do in Huntsville Al, is the US Space and Rocket Center, with the world class Huntsville Botanical Garden, art galleries and heritage attractions to enjoy, not to me...
Tags: Travel, Usa, Activities, US, Alabama, Culture, North America, Huntsville, Huntsville Alabama, Northern Alabama, USA Known, US Space Programme, Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville Botanical Garden


'Culture without crowds': UK tourism chiefs tout virtues of fall in foreign visitors

Industry body report shows 70% decline in visitor numbers at British attractions last yearA “phenomenal” summer of culture in the UK without crowds, queues or inbound tourists beckons, tourism chiefs have promised, as new figures were published laying bare just how bad 2020 was.Bernard Donoghue, the director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), said there would probably not be another chance for people to experience the nation’s museums, galleries, zoos, castles, country hou...
Tags: Travel, UK, Zoos, UK News, Culture, Museums, Bernard Donoghue, Coronavirus, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions ALVA



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