Udayavni Special

Madrid’s Paseo del Prado and Retiro Park granted World Heritage Status by UNESCO


Team Udayavani, Jul 26, 2021, 4:37 PM IST

Source: AP

Madrid’s Paseo del Prado boulevard and the adjoining Retiro park have been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, holding an online meeting from Fuzhou, China, backed the candidacy on Sunday that highlighted the green area’s introduction of nature into Spain’s capital. The influence the properties have had on the designs of other cities in Latin America was also applauded by committee members.

UNESCO said, “Collectively, they illustrate the aspiration for a utopian society during the height of the Spanish Empire,”

The Retiro park occupies 1.2 square kilometers (1.3 square miles) in the center of Madrid. Next to it runs the Paseo del Prado, which includes a promenade for pedestrians. The boulevard connects the heart of Spain’s art world, bringing together the Prado Museum with the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofía Art Centre.

The boulevard dates back to 16th century while the park was originally for royal use in the 17th century before it was fully opened to the public in 1848.

Madrid mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, “Today, in these times of pandemic, in a city that has suffered enormously for the past 15 months, we have a reason to celebrate with the first world heritage site in Spain’s capital,”

The site is number 49 for Spain on the UNESCO list.

The committee added China’s Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan, India’s Kakatiya Rudreshwara Temple, and the Trans-Iranian railway to the World Heritage list.

Spain’s foreign ministry in a statement said, “the Paseo del Prado “was one of the first boulevards inside the city limits of all European cities and capitals…where all citizens, without distinction of class, could enjoy the leisure and a stroll.”

It said the accolade was “especially symbolic” in the current context of the pandemic, as space had “fully fulfilled the function for which it was originally created”.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also tweeted in support of the decision. “Deserved recognition for a space in the capital that enhances our historic, artistic and cultural legacy”.

(Written with inputs from AP)

 

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