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UNESCO

Home to the iconic Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the peninsula of Istanbul was chosen to be a part of UNESCO’s best-practice World Heritage Committee list, recognising the site’s value to humanity and the level of protection they are afforded.

Istanbul is currently in the middle of a series of arts events and UNESCO’s recognition is a boost both to the city’s status as an international cultural capital and the Istanbul 2020 Olympic Bid. Istanbul 2020 promises to deliver a Games that weaves together first-class sport and cultural experiences, with musicians such as 50 Cent, Akon and Super Junior preparing to take the stage at the Velvet Villains Vestival this weekend and Music Bank.

“The Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee is working harder than ever to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Turkey for the first time, and to share a brand new culture with the Olympic family,” Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee Chairman Hasan Arat said. “I am delighted that, with less than two weeks to go before the vote, the city’s credentials as a cultural capital are being further enhanced.

“In 2020, if Istanbul is awarded the right to host the Games, sport and culture will be woven together at every turn throughout the city. Istanbul will provide an incredible and iconic backdrop for an Olympic Games but the city will also be teeming with creativity and life.”

Other art exhibitions being held throughout Istanbul include the Sky Spotting Stop at Istanbul Modern and the 13th Istanbul Biennial arts festival, which will start in mid-September.

“Many of these events in the city at the moment are focused on young people, which matches Istanbul 2020’s primary reason for hosting the Games,” Arat said. “Nearly 50% of Turkey’s population are under the age of 25, with many millions more across the region also in this category. Hosting the games in Istanbul will awaken their joy of sport and transmit the core values of Olympism.”

Istanbul is bidding against Madrid and Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will select the Host City at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires 7 September.

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