The UNESCO world heritage Centre was born by merging two separate movements. The first was a movement for the preservation of cultural sites. The second was a movement that dealt with the conversation of nature.
The ball of the first movement was set rolling with the decision to build the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. This dam would have flooded the valley in which one of the treasures of ancient Egypt- the Abu Simbel temple-was located. In 1959, UNESCO launched a campaign to safeguard these temples. It was a joint effort of 50 countries, and it led to many other similar projects to safeguard rare treasures. It was the United States that led the movement to combine the conversation of natural wonders along with cultural sites.