Tunisia listed by UNESCO for keeping heritage sites open

Only 77 countries kept their facilities fully open between December 18, 2020 and January 13, 2021, the period in which UNESCO last monitored their status. Forty-eight countries partially closed their stites, while 42 shut them down completely.
Friday 15/01/2021
UNESCO qualified Dougga as a World Heritage Site in 1997. (UNESCO)
UNESCO qualified Dougga as a World Heritage Site in 1997. (UNESCO)

TUNIS - Tunisia is one of 77 countries to have kept UNESCO World Heritage sites fully open into the New Year, the agency reported.

Some 167 countries boast 1,121 UNESCO heritage sites throughout the world, but most were closed or restricted last month due to COVID-19 measures.

UNESCO’s map  of countries’ World Heritage sites’ status between December 18, 2020 and January 13, 2021. (UNESCO)
UNESCO’s map  of countries’ World Heritage sites’ status between December 18, 2020 and January 13, 2021. (UNESCO)

Only 77 countries kept their facilities fully open between December 18, 2020 and January 13, 2021, the period in which UNESCO last monitored their status. Forty-eight countries partially closed their stites, while 42 shut them down completely.

Tunisia, host to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, including sprawling medinas and ancient Roman, Punic and Byzantine architecture, has attempted to allow the public to continue accessing its cultural sites despite a national curfew that has been in place for months. However, a four-day lockdown was introduced beginning January 14 to curb a recent spike in infections.

A general view of the old Roman Catholic Saint Louis Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Carthage, Tunisia, on February 27, 2010. (AFP)
A general view of the old Roman Catholic Saint Louis Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Carthage, Tunisia, on February 27, 2010. (AFP)

Oman and Qatar are the only other Arab countries to have kept their UNESCO World Heritage site fully open during the monitored period. Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Syria kept their heritage sites partially open.