The Palace of Mafra and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus in Braga were classified as World Heritage. The monuments included “the 36 nominations for inclusion on the World Heritage List”, which were evaluated at the 43rd Session of the UNESCO Heritage Committee.
There are already 17 Portuguese sites that make up the UNESCO list. The Palace of Mafra and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus in Braga were classified as World Heritage this Sunday. The monuments included “the 36 nominations for inclusion on the World Heritage List”, which are being evaluated at the 43rd Session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The assembly composed of the Palace, Basilica, Convent, Garden of Siege and Tapada de Mafra raised a small discussion within the Committee, with the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) raising some doubts about this candidacy. “We have had a lot of discussions about this site because the crucial element of this set, but we think that Tapada is not documented enough. Without further information, it does not make sense to recommend this place as World Cultural Heritage,” said the representative of ICOMOS. But the decision would turn out to be positive.
The monument was approved with the support of Brazil, Tunisia and China, as well as other States that are part of this committee such as Angola or Indonesia, although they supported the recommendations for conservation and a cartographic study of this monumental complex. “Mafra meets all the conditions to be recognized. We want to inscribe a building of extraordinary value that also has a garden and a cover and not the reverse, as indicated by ICOMOS,” said the representation of Portugal, in defending this candidacy.
Mafra shared the festivities with Braga, with the Bom Jesus Sanctuary also being classified. As in the case of the Mafra Palace, this proposal also raised some questions for ICOMOS, but the proposal was finally approved.
Brazil, which opened the discussion and is part of this committee, defended that Bom Jesus de Braga not only meets all the criteria to be included in the list of monuments, but also served as inspiration for the Bom Jesus de Congonhas complex in Brazil, which is already on the UNESCO list.
Portugal clarified that all doubts about Braga’s monument were already clarified in the dossier delivered by Portugal and that the recommendations of ICOMOS are already being followed in the sanctuary. The Portuguese representative also stated that the monument is also already registered as a national heritage.
By Diário de Notícias, July 2019