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Erbil temporarily on UNESCO world heritage list

altApril 8- Erbil Citadel, Kurdistan has been temporarily listed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage List in an official ceremony early last month. This milestone is the first of its kind for the region. “We dedicated a fund of US$13 million for Phase 1 of the rehabilitation and restoration of the Erbil Citadel, and will allocate $360,000 for Phase II--all of this is meant to achieve the criteria of UNESCO for the citadel to become an official World Heritage Site soon,” said  Erbil Governor Nawzad Hadi at the ceremony attended by several officials and members of the local and international media. The rehabilitation will take place over a period of three years.

Meanwhile, officials from UNESCO who attended the ceremony were greatly optimistic about the development. “Once the Erbil Citadel will be listed as a World Heritage Site, the city -- and the Kurdistan region in general -- will attract a lot of international attention. Erbil will attract a lot of visitors and tourists, which automatically will increase prosperity and investments in the area,” said Mohammed Djelid, director of UNESCO in Iraq.

Situated in the heart of Kurdistan’s capital, the Erbil Citadel was proposed as a world heritage site by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in 2007. On January 8, 2010, the Erbil Citadel made it to the tentative list and on March 9, it became a temporary world heritage site.
Today, the citadel is a prime tourist attraction in Erbil and includes the Kurdish Textile Museum, an antique store, and a souvenir shop.

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