On Saturday, October 10th, Louisiana officials hosted an induction ceremony for what U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu described as “something we will not see again in our lifetime.” More than 400 people, including local and state officials, attended a daylong festival to honor the site, which dates back 3,700 years ago. Poverty Point is the 22nd World Heritage Site in the U.S. and the 1001st on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
Representative stories from local newspapers make the point on the importance of Poverty Point’s World Heritage status for Louisiana:
A huge economic win for the communities.
Sen. Mary Landrieu stressed the economic benefits of the prestigious designation by saying: “More than 3,000 years ago, Poverty Point was an economic engine for this region, and it will be again as a World Heritage Site. In the past, it brought goods and materials to be traded, today it will bring tourists and jobs to grow and expand the middle class,”
Louisiana’s strong political will for World Heritage designation.
After a lengthy eight-year process and the difficulties imposed by the stop of U.S’ funding to UNESCO, Louisiana representatives declared that inscribing Poverty Point in the list was not easy. “Luckily, many in the state of Louisiana went to bat for Poverty Point, which was selected as a World Heritage Site in June” an Arkansas’ newspaper, commented.
Louisiana’s historical site now in the world stage.
Reflecting on the outstanding cultural value of Poverty Point, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, referred to it as “the cradle of Louisiana civilization.” Louisiana’s political leadership, across parties, celebrated the inscription and reaffirmed the relevance of the international designation.
“I think it’s the biggest thing in West Carroll Parish — ever,” said Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, while, fifth District U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, called it “a great day for this community and Louisiana.”