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Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) = Cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.

Outstanding Universal Value is one of the central ideas underpinning the World Heritage Convention.

For properties to be of Outstanding Universal Value they should be exceptional, or superlative – they should be the most remarkable places on earth.

Three pillars
To be considered of Outstanding Universal Value, a property needs to:

meet one or more of ten criteria
meet the conditions of integrity
if a cultural property, meet the conditions of authenticity, and
have an adequate system of protection and management to safeguard its future.

Operational Guidelines for Implementation of the World Heritage Convention

Elsewhere on the Web


  • How is ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ translated in other languages?

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