Monday, September 14, 2009

UNESCO Helps Resolve Irish Controversy

Source: The Economist

"UNESCO listed Skellig Michael as a “World Heritage Site” in 1996. Last year it published a report on the island that tried to settle the Irish argument. Its intervention was largely prompted by Michael Gibbons, an independent historian who had asserted that archaeological mistakes were being made there, and were being covered up by a conspiracy of silence.....

"In a Solomonic judgment, UNESCO found that the structures on the South Peak—apparently an offshoot of the monastery, to which monks went for retreat or penance—had indeed been rendered “dramatically different”. UNESCO said Ireland’s Office of Public Works should have opened a broader debate before proceeding with any restoration; but it did agree that some conservation was necessary. The Irish government has followed some of UNESCO’s recommendations, including naming a panel of independent Irish scholars to oversee the site."

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