9 Jan 2006

Rapa Nui mayor scathing about heritage designations

11:25 am on 9 January 2006

The mayor of Chile's Easter Island, Rapa Nui, says the territory has gained nothing, more than a decade after it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its monolithic stone heads, or moai.

Pedro Edmunds Paoa has told the newspaper, La Nacion, that the designation hasn't served the territory and nothing concrete's been done since 1995 to preserve the heads.

Mr Paoa says Chile has been short-sighted and even blind, adding it doesn't seem to value what the island has.

A Swiss initiative, the New Seven Wonders Foundation, is carrying out a worldwide survey this year to ascertain the seven wonders of the world.

Mr Paoa says his island doesn't need any title from a foreign country to recognise its archaeology or classify the moai as spectacular.