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Birmingham becomes UNESCO World Memory Site

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Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Alabama State Department of Tourism leaders are announcing the city’s designation as a UNESCO World Memory Site Monday. 

The designation links the Magic City to other human rights sites around the world, including the Berlin Wall and Robben Island. The City will also take part in the UNESCO Slave Route Project, which shows ignorance or concealment of major historical events block communities' understanding and reconciliation.

The City of Birmingham’s civil rights sites were recently confirmed on the short list of 14 nominees for the Department of Interiors’ possible submission for UNESCO’s World Heritage Site designation. Local leaders are preparing a full admission package. A team of experts  will present the group under one admission. Birmingham's goal is to make its presentation to the full World Heritage Committee in 2016.

“We are working to establish Birmingham as an international destination for Human Rights. Today’s designation is another step to that goal. Birmingham has a rich Civil Rights history. The peaceful protest model first perfected in Birmingham during the Civil Rights movement has been duplicated a cited around the world. We continue to embrace our past to build our future. This sort of designation will bring in more visitors from around the world and that translates into cultural tourism and a significant economic impact,” said Mayor William Bell in a news release.

Plaques for Monday's designation will be delivered and installed this summer.
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