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Ethan Gelber, BikeAbout: +1.212.866-9306,
Peter Stott, World Heritage Centre: +33.1.4568-1821,

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Centre Shows Support for the BikeAbout-the Mediterranean Journey

BikeAbout Seeks to Call Attention to World Heritage Sites in the Region

June 10, 1997

New York, NY -- The UNESCO World Heritage Centre today announced its support for BikeAbout's educational Internet adventure in the Mediterranean as they endeavor to increase awareness of, and access to, World Heritage sites in the region.

BikeAbout-the Mediterranean is the first fully "wired" circumnavigation of the Mediterranean Sea by bicycle. The all-volunteer, international expedition and team effort is designed to foster an understanding and sense of unity in the Mediterranean through the use of modern technology and cycling. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre will help make it possible for BikeAbout to access and learn more about World Heritage sites in the region and then share that information with an Internet-based web of schools and partner organizations in the Mediterranean and the U.S.

Beginning in September, a team of four (or five) BikeAbout riders equipped with computers will set out eastward along the Moroccan coast and bicycle the full circumference of the Mediterranean, finishing in Gibraltar in June, more than 10,000 miles later. The journey will take BikeAbout and an excited Internet network of schools and enterprises through Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Yugoslavia (Montenegro), Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Monaco, France, Spain, and Gibraltar. (Unfortunately, current political and security considerations will require the riders to make detours around Algeria and Libya.)

The many World Heritage sites in these countries located along the BikeAbout itinerary will serve as points of interest and activity for the BikeAbout riders. Nation- and region-specific issues, as well as discussions of the more general notion of world heritage, prompted by the historical, cultural and natural importance of these sites, will be built into the various activities depending on BikeAbout's presence in the Mediterranean.


BikeAbout is a non-profit organization specializing in Internet adventures that promote education, peace and cooperative understanding through bicycling and the improved use of technology in all learning environments. BikeAbout aims to increase awareness of and access to world regions and their people by traveling by bicycle, meeting the people, and using the unique capabilities of the Internet to share information with students, teachers and other on-lookers around the world. Networked schools and enterprises following the Journeys via the BikeAbout site on the World Wide Web ( join in a shared educational adventure of discovery and exchange. The subsequent web of contacts spun by BikeAbout riders and collaborators helps make it possible to continue to share information about the world with the world.

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre

UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to all humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO's General Conference in 1972 and currently with more than 145 States Parties. The UNESCO World Heritage Centre's primary mission is to define and conserve the world's heritage, by drawing up a list of sites whose outstanding values should be preserved for all humanity and to ensure their protection through a closer co-operation among nations. These cultural and natural sites constitute a common heritage to be treasured as unique testimonies to an enduring past, and important to our survival and enjoyment in the future. Their disappearance would be an irreparable loss for each and every one of us. And yet, most are threatened, particularly in present times. The preservation of this common heritage concerns us all.

For more information about the UNESCO World Heritage mission and the World Heritage Centre, please consult

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