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Darwin home on verge of World Heritage status

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The government has put forward Charles Darwin's house to become a World Heritage Site, it was announced today.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has nominated Bromley's 'Darwin at Downe' - where Darwin developed his theory of evolution - for the important heritage classification.

An International World Heritage Committee will decide this summer whether to approve the bid.

Darwin at Downe comprises Darwin's house, the garden where he conducted his experiments and the countryside around his property where he conducted important scientific investigations.

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell said: 'I am delighted that the UK is nominating Darwin at Downe, Charles Darwin's home and surrounding landscape, as a World Heritage Site.

'Darwin was one of the greatest scientists of the modern age and his contribution to our understanding of the natural world is unrivalled.'

English Heritage chairman Neil Cossons, said: 'It is very exciting to think that this area could be a World Heritage Site in time for Darwin's bicentenary in 2009 and for the Olympics in 2012.'

by Rob Sharp

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