Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Concerns See Bid for Special Status Stopped; Twin Monestary Site Pulls out of World Heritage Running

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Concerns See Bid for Special Status Stopped; Twin Monestary Site Pulls out of World Heritage Running

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson; Adrian Pearson

THE bid for a third World Heritage site for the North East has been dramatically withdrawn, it emerged last night.

It was announced in 2006 that the twin monastery site of Wearmouth-Jarrow would be the Government's World Heritage site candidate in 2009.

Although the bid was delayed to this year, confidence was high the UK Government's only submission would be successful and deliver an economic and cultural boost for the region.

It would have seen the Seventh Century monastery sites and churches of St Paul's at Jarrow in South Tyneside and St Peter's at Sunderland join Durham Cathedral and Castle and Hadrian's Wall as World Heritage sites.

Last September the sites were visited by Professor Adriano Boschetti, a technical evaluator from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which advises the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO) on World Heritage sites. But last night the Rt Rev Mark Bryant, Bishop of Jarrow and Chair of Wearmouth-Jarrow Partnership, said the bid had been withdrawn after a disappointing evaluation by ICOMOS.

He said there were a "number of concerns" about the report.

Prof Boschetti spent three days exploring the churches and partner venues, including the National Glass Centre in Sunderland and Bede's World in Jarrow.

He also met key figures from the bid, including Professor Rosemary Cramp - who was involved in the excavations of the site in the 1970s - and Bishop Bryant.

Last night a statement from the Bishop said: "Following feedback from ICOMOS, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), English Heritage and the Wearmouth-Jarrow Partnership have decided to withdraw the World Heritage site nomination for Wearmouth-Jarrow from this year's world heritage committee. …

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