The United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organisation will send a team of archaeologists to Delhi to determine the city’s eligibility for World Heritage City status.
This June the team of researchers will scrutinize a number of historical sites in New Delhi and Shahjahanabad, the pre-colonial portion of the city sometimes called “Old Delhi,” that have been included in the submission to the UNESCO program.
“These experts will be from South-East Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Singapore and Hong Kong, and are more familiar with Indian monuments than archaeological experts from Europe and the United States. To ensure unbiased scrutiny of these sites, none of the experts will be from India,” said a senior official of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage.
The international team of experts will produce a report that will be used to determine the eligibility of Delhi as a World Heritage City in the summer of 2015.
The dossier submitted to UNESCO by the Indian government includes landmarks like Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, and Connaught Place.
Securing the World Heritage City title for Delhi would be an important boost to tourism.
“There will be more visitors to Delhi from various countries to see the hundreds of havelis in Shahjahanabad. We are planning to convert them into tourist lodges. More than tourism, we want to instil pride among the inhabitants of Delhi,” said an official with the Indian government.