UNESCO will evaluate in September the candidacy of the former ESMA Museum to be declared a World Heritage Site

The façade of the former Navy School of Mechanics, where a clandestine detention, torture and extermination center operated during the last dictatorship

The Argentine Delegation before the Unescoby the ambassador Marcela Losardoachieved that the World Heritage Committee decide unanimously to evaluate the candidacy of the ESMA Site Museum -former clandestine detention, torture and extermination center- at their next meeting, which will take place in September of this year.

Despite the difficulties faced by the Committee due to the difficult international geopolitical situation, which hampered its work during the past year, this week Argentina achieved the support of its 21 member countries to move forward with the evaluation of the ESMA file. In this way, a decision can be made on the inscription of the Museum on the World Heritage List in its 45th meeting, which will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 10 to 25 September.

“This achievement is part of Argentina’s active participation in the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, of which our country is a member and Vice President representing the Latin American and Caribbean region. After an extensive process of reflection on the role of memory sites associated with recent conflicts and their contribution to the purpose and scope of the UNESCO Convention, this week the moratorium that prevented their evaluation and registration was lifted. Within this framework, the Argentine candidacy has become an emblem of the importance of memory sites associated with recent conflicts and how they contribute, through their inscription on the World Heritage List, to world peace, the main mandate of UNESCO”, was remarked in an official statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“This year, 2023, the anniversary of 40 years of uninterrupted democracy in our country, will be a key year for the Museum’s inscription on the World Heritage List, an inscription that will imply recognition of ESMA and its exceptional universal value by part of UNESCO and the whole world. In a regional context marked by hate speech and violent attacks against democratic institutions, the registration of the ESMA Site Museum of Memory will contribute in a fundamental way to raising awareness among present and future generations, to educate, to remember, and to ensure that the horrors experiences are NEVER repeated, neither in Argentina nor in any other part of the world,” they added in the text released by the Argentine Foreign Ministry.

The Argentine Delegation to UNESCO is headed by Ambassador Marcela Losardo (@ArgentinaUNESCO)
The Argentine Delegation to UNESCO is headed by Ambassador Marcela Losardo (@ArgentinaUNESCO)

Due to the consideration of the Argentine candidacy that will be carried out by UNESCO, experts from the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), evaluation body of the Convention on the protection of world cultural and natural heritage, will visit our country and the Museum Site ESMA to make your evaluation. They will take into account the conditions of integrity and authenticity of the site, its state of conservation and the existing systems for its protection and management, as well as the strategies related to visits and tourism, among other factors.

On March 20 of last year, the president Alberto Fernandez participated in the closing act of a tribute to the workers who disappeared during the last civic-military dictatorship, on the 45th anniversary of the 1976 coup d’état four days later.

The event, organized by HIJOS Capital and the Human Rights Inter-union group, which make up the CGT (General Confederation of Labor) and the CTA (Central de Trabajadores de Argentina), was held at the former ESMA, where a panel called “The working class and the process of Memory, Truth and Justice in Argentina”.

The national president had already visited the former ESMA on December 10, 2020, one year after assuming the presidency, when shared, along with Vice President Cristina Kirchner, an act for International Human Rights Day.

Keep reading:

The international deployment to position Massera and the fiercest mechanisms of submission: the book that tells the day to day at ESMA
Alberto Fernández visited the former ESMA to participate in an act in tribute to workers who disappeared during the last dictatorship

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