UNESCO strives towards preserving the cultural and natural heritage of mankind. More than 900 sites in more than 150 countries are represented on the World Heritage List. The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage focuses on the diversity of living cultural expressions around the world. In turn, preserving the documentary heritage in archives, libraries and museums is the objective of the UNESCO programme "Memory of the World." For the protection of underwater cultural heritage, UNESCO has adopted a separate international convention.
Cultural and Natural World Heritage
Unique cultural and natural heritage sites such as the pyramids of Giza, the Acropolis of Athens, the Galapagos Islands or the Grand Canyon are not the property of a single state, but ideally that of all mankind. Therefore, the international community must share the responsibility for the heritage of the world. This is the central idea of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. more...
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Intangible heritage includes cultural expressions such as dance and theater, music, languages, techniques and crafts and oral traditions. The "Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" of UNESCO reflects the diversity of cultural expressions of this world.
Underwater Cultural Heritage
The UNESCO Convention for the protection of cultural heritage under water prohibits all trade with artifacts from shipwrecks that are older than 100 years. The convention is to prevent cultural objects in the oceans from being plundered and destroyed. The convention defines protection principles and general guidelines for the work of underwater archaeologists.
Memory of the World
The UNESCO register "Memory of the World" provides digital access to globally important documents such as images, sound and film archives, manuscripts, musical scores and unique artefacts. Germany has several world entries in the Register, including the Gutenberg Bible, the Nibelungenlied and Fritz Lang's movie classic "Metropolis". more...