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About the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The idea of a convention to protect and preserve some historical sites was born after the decision to construct Aswan High Dam in Egypt, which flooded a large region of Egypt and Soudan in which could be found very important ruins.

The convention was drafted in 1972 and began to be ratified by members in 1973. The United States was the first country to sign the convention.

As of late 2012, there are 190 countries who are part of the convention.

What's on the list?

These sites are notable for various reasons: historical significance, cultural landmark or natural beauty (to be protected).

The list currently has 911 sites, in 153 countries. Each year, the UNESCO adds a few sites based on a series of criteria.

To browse the list by country, visit the official Web site.

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