Assistant Director-General of UNESCO visits A-bomb Dome, preserved as witness to Hiroshima bombing

by Moe Nishimura, Staff Writer

Hans d'Orville, Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), visited the Atomic Bomb Dome, a World Heritage site, on May 1. Mr. d'Orville, 65, a native of Germany, said that the building should be preserved as a witness to the A-bomb devastation for humanity. UNESCO encourages the preservation of sites of cultural and natural heritage around the world.

Kenji Kitagawa, chair of the Hiroshima UNESCO Association, guided Mr. d'Orville and told him about the sweeping change in the cityscape before and after the bombing. Mr. d'Orville said that the atomic bombing is a very sad memory and that the A-bomb Dome is the most important structure to be recognized as a World Heritage site among 20th century architecture.

Mr. d’Orville, who was attending an event in Osaka, paid this visit to Hiroshima at his request. He also visited another World Heritage site, Itsukushima Shrine, located in Hatsukaichi. The two World Heritage sites in Hiroshima Prefecture were added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites in December 1996.

(Originally published on May 2, 2014)