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Avebury named one of world’s top heritage sites
5:00pm Monday 21st January 2013 in News
AVEBURY is second only to an ancient Mexican city as the best heritage site in the world for visitors, according to a new report.
The Neolithic henge monument was just behind Monte Alban in Mexico for visitor experience, outscoring famous sites such as Peru’s Machu Picchu, Egypt’s Pyramids and the Taj Mahal in India.
A panel of experts judged the heritage sites on 25 criteria including visitor experience, the presentation and preservation of the site, the ability to learn from and engage with the site and the holiday appeal of the surrounding region.
The city of Monte Alban was home to the Zapotec people and flourished more than 2,000 years ago.
Stuart Wheeler, cabinet member for heritage at Wiltshire Council, said the impressive monuments and the unique beauty of the stones and the surrounding landscape attracted more than 250,000 visitors each year.
He said: “We have always known we have a wonderful piece of history on our doorstep and now we have official confirmation. Being placed second only to Mexico in providing visitors with the best heritage site experience in the world is a wonderful accolade.”
Wiltshire Council provides funding for the Avebury World Heritage Site officer who works closely with partners to plan and co-ordinate the delivery of the management plan for this 25 square kilometre site.
Partners are currently working on the update of the World Heritage Site Management plan which provides a framework for the protection and presentation of the Wiltshire asset.
Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust archaeologist for Avebury, added: “The National Trust owns, manages and cares for over 1,600 acres of the Avebury landscape including the stone circle and many of its other iconic monuments.
“Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers work year round to ensure that it remains a source of inspiration and delight. So it’s wonderful to see that the very special qualities of Avebury have been recognised in this way.”
Recently Avebury featured in Which? Travel Magazine which refers to it as one of the “best-preserved and most impressive complex of prehistoric sites in Europe”.