The island of Djerba was officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on Monday, September 18, during the 45th extended session of the World Heritage Committee, which started on September 10 and will run until 25 in the Saudi capital Riyadh, in the presence of Minister of Cultural Affairs Hayat Guetat Guermazi and the Tunisian delegation accompanying her. Djerba: Testimony to a settlement pattern in an island territory has therefore become the 9th Tunisian site on the 'World Heritage Main List', most of which are in ancient cities. Were previously classified the Roman amphitheater of El Jem, the archaeological site of Carthage, the ancient city of Tunis, the city of Sousse, the city of Kairouan, the Punic city of kerkouan and the archaeological site of Dougga as the last Tunisian site inscribed since 1997. of the mosque, the archaeological site of Carthage, the ancient city of Tunis, the city of Sousse, the city of Kairouan, the Punic city of kerkouan and the archaeological site of Dokka as the last Tunisian site classified since 1997. This vote was the culmination of a joint national effort by the Ministry of Culture and a number of intervening parties from ministries, relevant departmental services and civil society over the past few years to publicise this site and stimulate international interaction with it. A team of Tunisian experts belonging to various structures and interested parties at central, regional and local levels has worked to prepare a detailed technical report responding to all the reservations contained in the report of experts from the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, in accordance with the decisions of the Cabinet meeting of July 21, 2002. The file on the inscription of the island of Djerba on the World Heritage List was presented to Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani during his meeting with Minister of Culture Hayat Guetat Guermazi on September 2, 2023. Hachani had recommended the involvement of all stakeholders to ensure its success. As part of the process of mobilising international interaction, on September 4, 2023, the Ministry of Culture organised a reception at the Carthage Museum to present the technical file for the nomination of the cultural property "Testimony of a settlement pattern in an island territory" for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List, a sequential cultural property consisting of 31 elements and reflecting an exceptional island urban planning. The ceremony was attended by a group of ambassadors and representatives of the diplomatic corps, and the meeting was an opportunity to further present and promote the components of this file. In the same context, a demonstration was organised in Paris on September 7, in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Tunisia to UNESCO. During this event, the Minister of Culture stressed the importance of inscribing the island of Djerba on the World Heritage List in order to preserve the specific nature of this unique cultural and natural heritage, which today more than ever is threatened with extinction and decline. During her stay in Saudi Arabia, the Minister and her accompanying delegation sought to meet as many representatives of the countries concerned as possible, at the Arab, African and international levels, in order to convince them to support and assist Tunisia in its campaign to mobilise international support for the inscription of Djerba.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse