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Greece to Propose Epirus’ Zagori Villages as UNESCO Heritage Site

Zagorohoria, Greece. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

The northern Epirus region of Zagori will be vying for inclusion into UNESCO World Heritage Sites list, the Greek Culture Ministry said recently, after a meeting for the preparation of a preliminary file to be submitted for review in September.

“The Zagori villages (Zagorohoria) are the first Greek candidacy in the field of culture thus requiring the cooperation of a multidisciplinary working committee,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.

The names of those to make up the committee will be announced in the coming week, said a statement.

According to the ministry, the file must include historical, archaeological, and cultural documentation as well as data on the particular biodiversity of the area.

Captain Arkouda Stone Bridge, Central Zagori, Greece. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Based on a tentative schedule, a working meeting will be held in March in Ioannina to produce the first version of the dossier to be submitted; an interdisciplinary meeting of experts will follow in May in Ioannina and Zagori to focus on “the value of the mountainous cultural landscapes of Southeastern Europe”. Representatives from UNESCO’s advisory bodies will be invited.

The ministry will take heed of observations made by UNESCO officials before submitting the final file on 31 January 2021.

The Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae Photo Source: Ministry of Culture

There are currently 18 Greek monuments on UNESCO’s register. These are: the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, the Acropolis in Athens, Delphi, the Medieval City of Rhodes, Meteora, Mount Athos, Thessaloniki’s Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments, the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, the fortress town of Mystras, Olympia, Delos island, the Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios, the Pythagoreion and Heraion on Samos, Vergina, Mycenae and Tiryns, the Historic Centre – the Monastery of St John and the Apocalypse Cave on Patmos, the Old Town of Corfu, and archaeological site of Philippi, in Northern Greece.

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