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UNESCO Names 25 New Sites to World Heritage List
Though sites like Machu Picchu, the Great Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge may differ from one another in several ways, they are all bound by at least one similarity — distinction as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The prestigious title reflects these locations' unique positions as arbiters of the local culture and as a commanding physical significance for the area in which it is found. As of August 2011, there are 936 properties comprising the list, 25 of which were added this year.
UNESCO, which stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, considers many cultural and natural criteria such as ecological and biological significance, aesthetic importance, and architectural development, when nominating a site for the list.
Some sites recently added to the list include the Saloum Delta of Senegal, the Selimiye Mosque of Turkey, the Kenya lake system of the Great Rift Valley, and the Wadi Rum protected area of Jordan. The new sites were announced during the meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Paris, which was held in June.
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