U's contribution to Baku's removal from World Heritage danger list cited

Arthur Chen (Center for World Heritage Studies, Architecture) was present at the World Heritage Committee's meeting in Seville, Spain, in late June when it was announced that the Walled City of Baku had been removed from UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger.

"After a long debate, the World Heritage Committee just decided to remove Baku from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger," he wrote in an e-mail from Seville. "I am delighted to sit with Azerbaijan delegates and to share their joy. [The] University of Minnesota has been mentioned several times as a contributor to the success of this conservation effort."

Located in western Asia, the site in Baku, Azerbaijan, was placed on the Danger List in 2003 after sustaining damage in a November 2000 earthquake. As director of the Center for World Heritage Studies, Chen spent three weeks in Baku in May 2006 working with students and faculty from CDes and the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction (AzUAC) conducting preliminary research and creating a preservation plan for removing the site--which contains structures dating back to the sixth century BCE--from the danger list.