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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Unesco names World Heritage sites
Sydney Opera House
Sydney's Opera house was honoured for its enduring influence
The Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Red Fort in India have been added to a list of the world's most valuable cultural treasures.

A silver mine in Japan and an ancient fortress in Turkmenistan are also now on the Unesco World Heritage list.

Archaeological remains in Iraqi city of Samarra were inscribed and immediately registered as being in danger.

The organisation also agreed to change the official name of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland.

It will now be referred to as Auschwitz-Birkenau, German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945).

Poland sought the change to make clear it had no role in establishing or running the camp.

Majestic ruins

The Sydney Opera House, built in 1973, was named as a "great artistic monument accessible to society at large", Unesco said.

It was recognised as a great architectural work and urban structure that has had an "enduring influence on architecture".

Sydney Opera House, Australia
Old town of Corfu, Greece
Red Fort Complex, India
Bordeaux, France
Volcanic island of Jeju, South Korea
Iwami Ginzan silver mine, Japan
Parthian fortresses of Nisa, Turkmenistan
Samarra archaeological city, Iraq
Rideau Canal, Canada
Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Teide National Park, Spain
Primeval beech forests of the Carpathian, Ukraine
Lope-Okanda, Gabon
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, South Africa
Twyfelfontein, Namibia
Diaolou villages in Kaiping, China

India's Red Fort Complex, built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad and completed in 1648, was honoured for reflecting "all phases of Indian history from the Mughal period to independence", Unesco said.

The Iwami Ginzan silver mine on Honshu Island in Japan dates back to the 16th Century. The Parthian Fortresses of Nisa in Turkmenistan contain the remains of two cities from the 3rd Century BC to the 3rd Century AD.

Samarra, considered a holy city by Shia Muslims, is home to majestic ruins along the Tigris river and a 9th Century mosque. Holy sites in the city have been the target of insurgent attacks.

Other sites added to the list include Gabon's Lope-Okanda landscape, the Richtersveld mountainous desert region of South Africa, Namibia's Twyfelfontein and 1,800 fortified tower houses in China's Guangdong province.

The UN cultural organisation has been considering bids from 39 different countries in its week-long meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Around 45 sites are in competition to be added to the World Heritage list.

There are currently more than 830 sites on the World Heritage list, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, which has been updated regularly since 1972.

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11 Apr 07 |  Americas

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