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Wagner opera house gets 'world heritage' status

Wagner opera house gets 'world heritage' status
Photo: DPA

Germany's Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth, famous for its annual Wagner festival, is joining the list of sites classed by UN cultural body UNESCO as world heritage, the organisation said on Saturday.

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The World Heritage Committee, which is meeting in Saint Petersburg, called the opera house "a unique monument of European baroque music festival culture", UNESCO's German Commission said in a statement.

Stepping into the opera house is like going back in time, making it immensely popular with the crowds that come every summer to hear the music of Richard Wagner at the popular Bayreuth Festival.

Built between 1746 and 1750 by Italian architect Guiseppe Galli Bibiena for margrave Frederick III of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, the opera house has a ballroom typical of the Absolutist society at the time with wooden dressing rooms, unique streaked marble and painted decoration.

"Even the acoustic sounds like it did 270 years ago," according to UNESCO.

The opera becomes the 37th site in Germany named onto UNESCO's prestigious list, making the country one of the most prolific in World Heritage sites.

AFP/hc

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