2017 will be a year of heritage consolidation and of taking the opportunity that World Heritage has presented for Gibraltar, according to Heritage Minister Dr John Cortes.
He looks forward to a fruitful 2017 in the field of heritage even though the success of 2016 having achieved Gibraltar’s first World Heritage Site for the Gorham’s Cave Complex which will be hard to match.
His comments came after Historic England commemorated this landmark having recently organised a reception in the House of Lords which was hosted by Baroness Young of Hornsey.
The Gorham’s Cave Complex became the United Kingdom’s 30th World Heritage Site, significantly in the year that marked the 30th anniversary of the first United Kingdom sites to be inscribed.
The reception brought together the 30 World Heritage Sites, including Gibraltar, and was well attended by members of both houses.
Among the highlights of the evening, in which Gibraltar was represented by Professor Clive Finlayson and Dr Geraldine Finlayson, was the screening of a video showing the wide range of heritage encompassed by the United Kingdom sites.
The Gorham’s Cave Complex featured alongside such emblematic sites as the Tower of London and Stonehenge.
Later, on the 15 December, Professor Finlayson gave the ICOMOS-UK Christmas Lecture, also in London.
This was an opportunity to present the new World Heritage Site to an audience of heritage specialists, decisions makers, managers and a wider public.
Overall, these events have served to project Gibraltar’s heritage to a wide audience as well as establishing new contacts within the United Kingdom’s community of World Heritage Sites.
Heritage Minister Dr Cortes said that having Heritage in the same Ministry as the Environment and Education also offered great scope in a variety of fields for the benefit of society.
Dr Cortes said that “Urban renewal, environmental regeneration and heritage education are examples of how quality of life can be improved and the sense of identity strengthened, particularly significant in the year which commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum”.