A Texas legislator has introduced a bill that would protect the Alamo from becoming an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, was grilled by fellow senators Tuesday over her proposal to ban foreign control of the Alamo.
Campell proposed the Protect the Alamo Act in response to a nomination that could make the San Antonio Missions — including the emblematic Alamo — a World Heritage site through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). A decision is expected to be announced in July. Campbell said that without the law to protect the Alamo, there would be a risk that the Texas General Land Office, which manages the Alamo and surrounding properties, could sell it.
"In the charge to the battle, the battle cry was 'Remember the Alamo,' and since then, the Alamo has been recognized as hallowed ground in Texas, and a shrine of Texas liberty," Campbell said at a hearing before the The Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee. "The Alamo is a story of Texas, and it should be owned, operated, and maintained, controlled by Texans."
Except that World Heritage Sites don't involve any kind of "foreign control" or selling the lands to anyone. World Heritage Site status awards legal protection to the sites and helps with conservation efforts. It brings additional conservation funds as well as more economic activity surrounding the site. And the nominations must be made by official state bodies in the first place.
The bill actually met with opposition and did not pass.
When questioned about the motivations for the bill Senator Campbell said this:
"According to the Houston Chronicle, Campbell has admitted that making the Alamo a UNESCO site would not actually involve selling it to the UN. She said in warning, however, that 'UNESCO starts with UN.'"
Meanwhile, in other countries people are fighting to get WHS status for places threatened by multinational companies with shoddy working practices.