As a last contribution to the blog of Think Global Heritage, I thought it could be interesting to shift the attention from the actions of UNESCO to the headquarters where heritage is discussed.
According to the UNESCO website, the headquarters of the organisation were originally located in London under the scheme of a Preparatory Commission. However, in 1946, after the liberation of France from the German occupation, the headquarters were moved to the Hotel Majestic at the Avenue Kléber in Paris. It was a temporary shelter for the organisation which had to learn to work under strange spatial conditions. As stated on the website, the staff had to use bathtubs to store their documents. This situation improved from 1958, when the headquarters were transferred to the Place de Fontenoy in Paris. Three sets of buildings configure the current headquarters of UNESCO which have been named as the ‘three-pointed-star’.
From this brief introduction, it is worth to mention the precarious conditions in which the organisation was created and developed. Although nowadays UNESCO is a well-established and respected institution worldwide, we should not forget that its core foundation was the willingness of people to preserve what the war had left. That spirit is still embedded in the communities that claim the protection of their heritage and seek help in large organisations such as UNESCO. Behind heritage, there is the human factor. Behind human actions, the privilege to feel inspired and moved by the tangible and the intangible of mankind creations.
United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization (2016) Available at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/about-us/who-we-are/history/paris-headquarters/ (Accessed: 30 November 2016).