A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building,or city) that is on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 state parties.
What Committee does
Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
Since then, 185 states have ratified the convention.
As of 2008, 878 sites are listed: 678 cultural, 174 natural, and 26 mixed properties, in 145 states.
Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites to date with 43 sites inscribed to the list.
The identification numbers exceed 1200 even though there are fewer on the list.
Each World Heritage Site is the property of the state on whose territory the site is located, but it is considered in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.
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