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Mount Etna named world heritage site by UNESCO

June 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, June 21 (UPI) -- The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO Friday named Mount Etna as a world heritage site, citing its long history as an active volcano.

In awarding the distinction at its annual meeting, UNESCO said the Sicilian volcano had "one of the longest documented histories in vulcanology."

Andrea Orlando, Italy's environment minister, called the announcement "a significant milestone for Italy" that provided "an opportunity for our country to combine environmental protection with the development of the area by investing in a sustainable development."

Italy has the largest number of World Heritage sites, 47, including the Aeolian Islands, Mount St. George and the Dolomites.

The UNESCO meeting this year was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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