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Hope for Hopewell despite US withdrawal from UNESCO

Mound City Site, Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, Ohio, United States

"The remarkable legacy of the Hopewell culture’s people in Ohio connects us to those who inhabited our land thousands of years ago."

In 1945 shortly after the end of World War II, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded and headquartered in Paris, France. The primary mission of UNESCO is to build an overarching culture of peace around the world. Situated on a modern campus representing the mid-20th-century ideals of international art and architecture, UNESCO now has 195 member states and 10 associate members. Soon, the United States will not be one of them.

The US was a founding party of UNESCO in 1945 and remained its largest funder for nearly 40 years. In 1984, however, citing a divergence in goals, the US withdrew from UNESCO and did not return to the organization for almost 20 years. In 2003, the US rejoined UNESCO and once again began providing international leadership in the fields of science, education, and culture. Now, the US is scheduled to withdraw once again (to take effect in 2018), citing an alleged anti-Israel bias within the organization.

Despite the planned withdrawal from UNESCO, and the failure to pay dues both to UNESCO and the World Heritage Centre since 2011, the US Department of Interior recently announced its decision to nominate another US site to the World Heritage list—the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks in Ohio. (The 2007 photo above of the Mound City site by Heironymous Rowe of British Wikipedia is shared here under CC BY-SA 3.0).


Interior Proposes Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as Nomination to World Heritage List

Press Release

US Department of Interior

May 24, 2018

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