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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Darwin world heritage bid stopped
Darwin's former home Down House, in Bromley (photo: English Heritage)
Darwin completed some of his most celebrated work at Down House
The nomination of Charles Darwin's former home in south-east London as a World Heritage Site has been withdrawn.

The government took the decision following an evaluation by Unesco advisors, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos).

It said Icomos had failed to recognise the Bromley property's "significance as a site for the heritage of science".

Down House at Downe was Darwin's home for 40 years and where he developed his revolutionary theory of evolution.

Celebrating science

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it hoped to submit a revised nomination to Unesco in January 2009.

Down House was nominated last year in response to Unesco's call for nominations which celebrate the achievements in science.

The nomination was to have been considered for the title at a World Heritage Committee meeting in New Zealand on 23 June.

Culture Minister David Lammy said the Downe property fully justified World Heritage status.

"We remain committed to this nomination," he said.

"We were surprised and disappointed at the Icomos evaluation and we need to consider very carefully the issues raised by them."

The government is proposing to host an international summit to boost the chances of heritage of science sites of being listed.

Darwin moved to Down House in 1842 following his round-the-world trip in the 1830s, which included a visit to the Galapagos islands.

The property was where Darwin completed his famous work The Origin of Species and a number of follow-up studies.

The premises contain the scientist's experimental garden where he studied plants and animals.


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