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Secretary Jewell Applauds Designation of San Antonio Missions in Texas as Nation’s 23rd World Heritage Site
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today applauded the decision by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to designate a group of five Spanish colonial missions in the San Antonio area – including most of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the Alamo – as a World Heritage Site.
The San Antonio Missions site now joins a list that includes cultural and natural sites of universal importance such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
The site is the 23rd World Heritage Site in the United States out of more than a thousand inscribed worldwide. Other recent inscriptions to the list from the U.S. include the Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point, Louisiana, inscribed in 2014; and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Hawaii, inscribed in 2010. The Papahanaumokuakea is a vast cluster of islands and atolls with surrounding ocean to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Archipelago.
Jewell noted that the Department of the Interior undertook the nomination of the San Antonio Missions with the full cooperation and written support of all the property owners within the boundaries of the nominated area, including the National Park Service, the State of Texas, the Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio, Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio River Authority, the Espada Ditch Company, the San Juan Ditch Water Supply Corporation, and Los Compadres de San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. All though four of the five missions include active churches, they are all open to the public for visitation.
Then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the Department’s intention to nominate the Missions as a World Heritage Site in June 2011.
Inclusion of a site in the World Heritage List does not affect U.S. sovereignty or management of the sites, which remain subject only to U.S., state and local laws. Detailed information on the World Heritage Program and the process for the selection of U.S. sites can be found at www.nps.gov/oia/topics/worldheritage/worldheritage.htm.
Last updated: July 11, 2015