Bolivian city: Heritage in danger

June 18, 2014 - 1:25:42 am

DOHA: The World Heritage Committee yesterday inscribed the City of Potosi in Bolivia on the List of World Heritage in Danger, because of continued and uncontrolled mining in the Cerro Rico Mountain that risks degrading the site.

In the 16th century, Potosi was regarded as the world’s largest industrial complex. 

The extraction of silver ore relied on hydraulic mills. The site consists of industrial monuments of the Cerro Rico, where water is provided by an intricate system of aqueducts and artificial lakes; the colonial town with the Casa de la Moneda; the Church of San Lorenzo; patrician houses; and the barrios mitayos, the areas where workers lived.

In its decision, the committee cited potential degradation of the historic site by mining; instability and risk of collapse of the Cerro Rico; deficiencies in conservation; inefficient enforcement of protective legislation; and environmental impacts on the hydraulic complex which in turn affects historic fabric and local population. 

The city was inscribed on the List in 1987.

The 38th session of the committee continues until June 25 under the chair of H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson, Qatar Museums.

The Peninsula

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