The Palestinian village Battir and its surroundings that have seen 4,000 years of cultivation of vines and olives and an Armenian site featuring remnants of buildings from the Bronze Age through Hellenic and early Christian times and are the winners of a United Nations prize for the preservation of cultural landscapes.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced on Thursday that the Historical and Cultural Museum-Reservation of Garni (Armenia) and the Battir Cultural Landscape (occupied Palestinian territories) are this year’s laureates of the biennial Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes.
“In rewarding the management of Garni and Battir, UNESCO wishes to raise awareness of these sites’ beauty and importance, of their tangible and symbolic values, so as to help avert threats to their continued preservation,” said the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, endorsing the recommendation of an international jury.
An international jury recommended the two sites, which will receive the prize and USD 15,000 at a ceremony at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on May 24, 2011.
The prize carries the name of the late Greek cultural minister and renowned actress Melina Mercouri.
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