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World Heritage site-Moravian settlement gets international support

Bethlehem’s pursuit of World Heritage recognition for the Moravian settlement received a boost Oct. 18 as Michelle Muntefering, deputy minister for international cultural policies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany presented a letter of collaboration to Bethlehem area officials at a brief gathering in Town Hall.

The Herrnhut settlement in Germany, Christiansfeld in Denmark, and Gracehill in Northern Ireland would join Bethlehem in a single World Heritage listing that recognizes the influence of the Moravian Church throughout the world.

Deputy Minister Muntefering thanked Bethlehem officials for hosting the German delegation and expressed the importance of the transnational effort and international cooperation on the pursuit of World Heritage designation.

Bethlehem’s Historic Moravian site was added to the U.S. World Heritage tentative list in 2017 and area officials on the Bethlehem World Heritage Commission have continued to work through the process. This would represent the first multi-country nomination for the United States, which is home to 24 World Heritage sites.

PRESS PHOTOS BY DANA GRUBB Representatives attending included: (seated) German Consul General David Gill; Curtis H. Barnette, vice chair of the Bethlehem World Heritage Commission; Catherine Turton from the Office of International Affairs of the National Park Service; Mayor Robert Donchez; Michelle Muntefering, deputy minister for international cultural policies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany; Charlene Donchez Mowers, president of the Bethlehem World Heritage Commission and Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites; and (standing) Dr. Paul Peucker, director and archivist at the Moravian Archives; the Reverend Dr. Elizabeth Miller, president of the Moravian Church Provincial Elder's Conference; Bishop Hopeton Clennon, senior pastor of Central Moravian Church; Dr. Bryon Grigsby, president of Moravian University; and Dan Soos, CEO of the Bethlehem Area Moravians.
Catherine Turton, representing Stephen Morris of the Office of International Affairs of the National Park Service, Mayor Robert Donchez and Michelle Muntefering, deputy minister of international cultural policies at the Federal Republic of Germany's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, present the letter of collaboration in a multi-country nomination to the World Heritage list that includes Bethlehem's Moravian Church historic site and several in Europe.