Valongo Wharf in Rio de Janeiro—now a World Heritage Site
The World Heritage Committee recently concluded its annual meeting, which was held this year in Krakow, Poland. At the meeting, a number of new sites were added to the World Heritage List and some sites on the list were evaluated for threats to them. Now, the Valongo Wharf has been added to the World Heritage List as a “brutal reminder.”
Built in 1811 and in operation for only 20 years as a slave-trading wharf (the transatlantic slave trade was outlawed in 1831), Valongo Wharf performed an outsized role—it has been estimated that nearly 1 million enslaved Africans reached the shores of the New World at this wharf. Brazil as a whole was the largest entry point during the slave trade in the Western Hemisphere, taking in nearly 5 million in total, or approximately 50% of the total number of enslaved Africans brought in. (Photo of Valongo Wharf in 2013 by Halley Pachecode Oliviera, shared under CC BY-SA 3.0).
By Ernesto Londoño
The New York Times
July 15, 2017