Thursday, 11 September 2014

World Heritage Site Status for Hay?

There's a little vote going on in Scotland on the same day, but that shouldn't overshadow the fact that Prince Derek will be in the Buttermarket on Thursday 18th September, between 11am and 3pm with his ballot box, so don't forget to cast your votes!
But could Hay be a World Heritage Site? That's one of the things that Prince Derek is advocating.
The main World Heritage Site in Wales seems to be the group of Edward I's castles in North Wales - Caernarvon, Conway, Harlech and Beaumaris. Blaenavon is another Welsh site, and there was an attempt to make Blaenavon into a booktown some years ago, though the main attraction there is the Big Pit and the industrial archaeology. The other Welsh site is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal near Llangollen.
So why not Hay? We certainly "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared" in terms of the books that change hands here every day, and item VI on UNESCO's list could have been written with Hay in mind, being "directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance".

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