The Antequera Dolmens Archaeological Site has been included in the List of World Heritage Sites of the Unesco

Menga Dolmen
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Publication date: 2016-07-18

With this designation, the Antequera Dolmens Archaeological Site has become the first heritage asset of Malaga to be included in the indicative list of the international agency.

The city of Antequera has already fulfilled its dream: The Dolmen Archaeological Site was declared on Friday a World Heritage Site of the Unesco,

Therefore, it becomes the first heritage asset of Malaga to be included in the indicative list of the international agency. It is also the first of its kind to be designated in continental Europe and the site is already in the map of main megalithic monuments of the world,

This was the decision of the ambassadors of 21 countries, members of the World Heritage Committee, presided by the general director for cultural affairs and international promotion of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lale Ülker, during the 40th annual meeting of the agency in Istanbul (Turkey). 

The application of Antequera was the seventh application discussed at the Istanbul Congress Center with the international representatives, describing the characteristics of the five monuments of the site: the dolmens of Menga and Viera, the tholos of El Romeral, La Peña de los Enamorados and El Torcal.

The Mayor, Manuel Baron, described this as “an amazing and exciting” time and highlighted “the fact that all member states have given praise, congratulated and admired both the promotion and heritage asset of the Antequera Dolmens”.

Meanwhile, the councillor for Culture, Rosa Aguilar, declared that “a new era for the Dolmens begins, which has opened a window to the world so they can look, feel and enjoy it”. The councillor of Andalusia stressed that “again, Andalusia sees how its heritage is recognised with another site declared as a World Heritage Site”. Now, she mentioned, “the Dolmens are not only in Andalusia, but in the entire world”.

Thus, a tour that began in 1997 now ends, when the Autonomous Government of Andalusia presented the proposal to declare the Archaeological Site as a World Heritage Site, although it was not until 2011 when the application was submitted to the Spanish Historical Heritage Council to be declared as a Site.

Finally, the aforementioned body gathered in Plasencia (Caceres) on the 27th of March, 2014 to ratify the Site as the only Spanish application for the list of the Unesco on the coming year.

After the race had started, the evaluation committee of ICOMOS, consultative body of the Unesco, led by archaeologist Margaret Gowen, analysed the singularities of the Dolmens and their relationship with El Torcal and La Peña de los Enamorados, with the purpose of assessing their value as a World Heritage Site.

This visit ended with a series of recommendations that received a satisfactory response from the persons responsible for the application dossier. ICOMOS published the acceptance of the dossier on the 18th of May, the step prior to the declaration of the site as a World Heritage Site.

Therefore, the Dolmens, have taken a very important step in their recognition as a heritage asset. However, there is still much work to do: reduction of one floor of theDolmen Museum, development of a Special Plan to reduce the impact of the industrial estate on the Site or landscaping works of the Archaeological Site.

Likewise, the City Council estimates a growth of approximately 80% in the economic indicators during the next ten years. Proof of this is that the Antequera Dolmens Archaeological Site had already achieved record figures in terms of visitors before being declared a World Heritage Site.

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