Controversy Over Osh Heritage Site Makeover

A new fountain complete with lights and music may prove a popular attraction, but could jeopardise the hard-won status of a nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh.

Controversy Over Osh Heritage Site Makeover

A new fountain complete with lights and music may prove a popular attraction, but could jeopardise the hard-won status of a nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh.

Thursday, 15 October, 2009
Reporter Janar Akaev visited the fountain, located on the slopes of Sulaimain Too, or Solomon’s Mount, a site redolent of history and a place of pilgrimage for local Muslims.



“It took a lot of work, patience and perseverance,” said Jypar Jeksheev, who heads the special commission which secured United Nations heritage status for the mountain. “We fulfilled all of UNESCO’s requirements, and now the authorities announce they’re putting up a fountain.”



The city authorities dismiss fears that the site will lose its special status, and maintain that the water feature will attract many new visitors. But that is precisely the problem, say objectors – the sort of people the fountain will attract are unlikely to treat the sacred site with the reverence and care it deserves.



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