The town of Levoča in Prešov region and the works of Master Pavol of Levoča who was one of the most important medieval carvers in Europe have been entered into the UNESCO World Culture and Natural Heritage List. The decision was made in Seville, Spain on Saturday, June 27, the TASR newswire reported.
“At the 33rd session of the Committee of UN World Cultural Heritage for the Education and Culture, Levoča was decided on as the last, but one of the 37 nominated sights. It's interesting that the proposal was approved unanimously without any comments,” Levoča mayor Miroslav Vilkovský, told TASR.
The gem of Levoča is St. Jakub's Temple, featuring works by Master Pavol. The ninth annual ‘Days of Master Pavol’ summer cultural festival will begin in the town on July 1 and will run until August 30.
Vilkovský said he appreciated the efforts of all who took part in the preparation of materials. “There is a lot of work that went into this. The proposal was submitted in February 2007. Being on the list will help us in the development of tourism. We will use the logo of UNESCO actively,” the mayor said. He added that the town plans to create conditions for the development of summer and winter activities in order to increase the number of tourists and to prolong the time they spend in Levoča.
According to Vilkovský, currently some 1.7-1.8 million of people visit the town annually, including those who come to the well-known site of pilgrims - Mariánska Hora hill.
“I'm happy and proud. The proposal was approved without any comments,” said co-ordinator of the project Magdalena Janovská. “It's a marvellous feeling for all who participated in this success. I also view it as a perfect gift for the Spiš area which is also celebrating the 800th anniversary of its first written reference.
“Entering the UNESCO List means not only making our town visible in the world, but it also carries obligations and a much stricter approach to the protection of sights,” stated the director of the Spišské Múzeum in Levoča, Mária Novotná.
The museum administers Spišský Hrad (Spis Castle) that, along with its surroundings, was one of the first sights in Slovakia entered in the UNESCO List. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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