Tunisia: Unesco approves the candidacy of the island of Djerba for world heritage status
Tunis/Tunisia — The application for inscription of the island of Djerba on the UNESCO World Heritage List has finally been accepted by UNESCO, which will send a delegation of experts to the island in the south-east of Tunisia to inspect the condition of the proposed sites and monuments.
The Ministry of Cultural Affairs was notified on March 1, Mongi Bourgou, scientific coordinator of Djerba’s application for UNESCO World Heritage listing, told the TAP agency correspondent in Medenine.
He felt “that this approach requires the taking on of a shared responsibility between regional and local authorities and local civil society prior to the inspection visit by UNESCO experts”.
With an area of 514 km2, Djerba is one of the most strategic places in the heart of the Mediterranean. The Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) selected for Djerba’s candidacy is a set of properties (Menzel, Houch, mosques, fondouks, oil mills), indicates the Association for the Safeguarding of the Island of Djerba (ASM).
“A list of 24 monuments, proposed for classification, are distributed throughout the island and affect the entire territory with a concentration that geographically follows the fertile crescent. The monuments proposed are the Mosques: Sidi Salem, Sidi Smain, Tajdit, Abou Messouer (Al Jamaa El Kebir), Cheikh, Sidi Jmour, Moghzel, Imghar, Guellala, Sidi Yeti, Louta, Essalaouti, El Fguira, Tlakine, Medrajen, El Bessi, Fadhloun, Berdaoui, Welhi, Sidi Zikri, Mthaniya, the Ghriba Synagogue and the Holy Church of Saint Nicholas.”
Tunisia has 7 sites and monuments classified as World Heritage, from 1979 to 1997: Medina of Tunis / Site of Carthage / Amphitheater of El Jem (1979), Site of Kerkouane (1986), Medina of Sousse / Medina of Kairouan (1988 ) and the site of Dougga (1997) Since this date until today, no other new Tunisian site has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.