Gran Canaria, Spain, on 23-24 May 2018 hosted the UNESCO International Expert Meeting on Astronomical Heritage and Sacred Places. The meeting aimed to establish and identify the links that exist between astronomical heritage, religious heritage and sacred sites, since many sacred sites have connections with astronomy or the skyscape. Therefore, the meeting addressed simultaneously two World Heritage Centre (WHC) initiatives: the Astronomy and World Heritage Thematic Initiative and the Initiative on Heritage of Religious Interest.
Representatives of UNESCO/WHC, Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee (ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN), the International Astronomical Union (IAU), ICOMOS PRERICO and Expert Working Groups representatives from both initiatives, presented and discussed concepts and case studies to illustrate the existing range of linkages between sacred properties and astronomical values that could contribute to a balanced, representative and credible World Heritage List. Josep-Maria Mallarach, CSVPA Steering Committee member, made a presentation on Sacred natural sites with astronomical associated values.
The main outcome of the meeting was the statement, which encapsulates the main conclusions and charters the way forward in this new trans-thematic field. The meeting had the support of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, and the Canary Island Government.
More information is available on the UNESCO website.