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Charles Darwin's house gets World Heritage Site nomination

The house where the 19th century scientist developed his theory of evolution is to be UK's 2006 nomination for listing as a UN Heritage Site.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 15:41 IST

The house where 19th century scientist Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution is to be Britain's 2006 nomination for listing as a UN World Heritage Site, the government announced Thursday.

Down House at Downe, in Kent, southeast England, was where Darwin developed his scientific theories which culminated in the 1859 book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

The publication both scandalised and revolutionised Victorian society and academia and remains controversial to the present day, particular among those Christians who espouse Creationist theory based on the Bible.

"The World Heritage Committee called for nominations for the World Heritage List to recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements of science," British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said.

"The Darwin at Downe nomination does just this."

Expert advisers from the UN committee will now assess the bid, which if successful, could see the site officially recognised in time for the bicentenary of Darwin's birth in 2009.

Darwin's home, which includes an experimental garden where the scientist demonstrated his theory of evolution through the study of plants and animals, is managed by official conservation body English Heritage.

Britain currently has more than 20 cultural and natural World Heritage Sites, including the Tower of London, Canterbury Cathedral and Hadrian's Wall the Roman fortifications crossing northern England near the Scottish border.

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 18:13 IST