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WFMZ: Moravian Bethlehem considered for UNESCO World Heritage site

February 27th, 2024 |

Written by WFMZ

Moravian Bethlehem is one step closer to being named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The program, operated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Heritage Program promotes local and international cooperation for the preservation of natural and cultural heritage in an international setting.

The preserved sites are nominated by a 21-nation World Heritage Committee.

Although the United States is not a member of said committee, they are able to submit a list of tentative sites they would like to see designated as World Heritage Sites. In order to be considered, sites must meet one or more of the ten criteria.

Congressman Charlie Dent celebrated the area’s addition to the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List.

“The addition of Moravian Bethlehem, already designated a National Historic Landmark District, to a list of culturally significant international landmarks is phenomenal,” Dent said. “The Moravian District is a source of pride for the city of Bethlehem and the surrounding Lehigh Valley, as it has provided a unique, historically rich, and culturally significant way of life for over 300 years. The United States is filled with a number of important historical sites, so to even be considered is an honor.”

Currently, there are 1,052 designated World Heritage sites, of which 23 are located in the United States.

If selected, Moravian Bethlehem would join Independence Hall in Philadelphia as the second historical site located in Pennsylvania.

Other sites on the Tentative List include Civil Rights Movement sites in Alabama; Dayton Aviation sites in Ohio; Ellis Island; and Mount Vernon

The public can begin commenting on the locations listed on the Tentative List on December 27th.

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