Wednesday, 12 July 2017 06:00

Valongo wharf: Rio de Janeiro 'slave harbour' becomes Unesco world heritage site Featured

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A dock in Brazil where close to a million slaves landed from Africa has been declared a Unesco world heritage site.

Valongo Wharf, in Rio de Janeiro, was the largest arrival point for slaves in Brazil, the main destination for the trade in the Americas.

Nicknamed “slave wharf”, as many as 900,000 Africans were held at the harbour to recover from their journeys across the Atlantic before being sold on at markets. Many did not survive and were buried in nearby mass graves.

Unesco said the site was the “most important physical trace” of the devastating trade on the American continent and should have the same place in history as Hiroshima and Auschwitz "to make us remember those parts of the history of humanity that must not be forgotten".

"It is a unique memorial, containing the last remaining vestiges of the slaves' arrival," anthropologist Milton Guran said.

Many Brazilians were unaware of the area's importance until a few years ago when its remains were discovered during renovation work for the 2016 Olympic games.

A mass grave, with bones and skulls, was uncovered.

Read 74 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 13:10

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