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Latin American destinations candidates for Unesco World Heritage.
Latin American destinations candidates for UNESCO World Heritage.

UNESCO evaluates sites in Brazil, Peru and Uruguay for World Heritage status

An observatory, a church and a tropical garden are the Latin American destinations that could be included on the list of UNESCO protected sites.

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UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will examine sites in Brazil, Peru and Uruguay to determine their potential inclusion on a list of protected sites. The sites were proposed in 2020, but UNESCO had to cancel its annual meeting due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

This year's sessions are being held mostly virtually. The Roberto Burle Marx Site in Brazil; the Chankillo ceremonial center and solar observatory in Peru; and the Estación Atlántida Uruguay church are the three Latin American cadidates to be examined by UNESCO on July 26. 

The Roberto Burle Marx Site in Brazil is, in the words of the country's Ministry of Tourism, "the legacy of the landscape architect who created the concept of the modern tropical garden." 

In addition to gardens and nurseries, the site features six lakes, seven buildings and a collection of more than 3,500 species of tropical and subtropical plants. In normal circumstances, the site in the western part of Rio de Janeiro receives some 30,000 visitors a year.

For its part, Peru presents the archaeological complex of Chankillo, an astronomical observatory some 365 kilometers north of Lima that operated between 500 and 200 BC. The observatory followed the annual movement of the sun to regulate religious festivities and other seasonal events.

With a more modern proposal, Uruguay has as a candidate the church of Estación Atlántida, built between 1958 and 1960 by Eladio Dieste, an engineer known worldwide for developing the "reinforced ceramic" system and the double curvature vaults. The church is in the department of Canelones on the southern coast of Uruguay, and is unique for its use of exposed brick. 

The fourth Latin American site, presented by the Dominican Republic to include the historical and archeological site of La Isabela, was withdrawn, according to UNESCO sources that first spoke to EFE.

The World Heritage Committee will also evaluate the proposals of Amami-Oshima in Japan, Getbol in South Korea, Kaeng Krachan in Thailand, the rainforests and wetlands of Colchis in Georgia, Arslantepe in Turkey, the extension of defense lines in Holland, the frontiers of the Roman Empire in Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia, the Benevolent Colonies in Belgium and Holland, and the mining landscape of Rosia Montana in Romania.

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