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UNESCO World Heritage talks in Poland face divisive topics

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/2/2017
FILE In this file photo taken Jan.8, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland, Poland's Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister Piotr Glinski talks to reporters in his office. On Sunday, July 2, 2017, Glinski and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova opened the 41st annual session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, southern Poland. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File) © The Associated Press FILE In this file photo taken Jan.8, 2016 in Warsaw, Poland, Poland's Deputy Prime Minister and Culture Minister Piotr Glinski talks to reporters in his office. On Sunday, July 2, 2017, Glinski and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova opened the 41st annual session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, southern Poland. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Officials have opened the 41st annual UNESCO World Heritage Committee's conference in Poland.

FILE -In this file photo taken Jan. 17, 2017 in Davos, Switzerland, Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova speaks on the second day of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. On Sunday, July 2, 2017, Bokova and Poland's Culture Minister Piotr Glinski opened the 41st annual session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, southern Poland. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File) © The Associated Press FILE -In this file photo taken Jan. 17, 2017 in Davos, Switzerland, Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova speaks on the second day of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. On Sunday, July 2, 2017, Bokova and Poland's Culture Minister Piotr Glinski opened the 41st annual session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, southern Poland. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

The meeting will run through July 12 and debate contentious issues like Palestinian motion to deny Israel sovereignty over Jerusalem and the level of protection Poland gives its pristine Bialowieza forest.

FILE - -In this file photo taken April 12, 2011 at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, art conservators Janusz Czop, left, and Janusz Walek, right, present to journalists Leonardo da Vinci painting "Lady with an Ermine," Poland's most valuable picture. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Poland's Culture Minister Piotr Glinski appreciated the painting Sunday, July 2, 2017, at the National Museum in the southern city of Krakow, before opening the 41st annual session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee that runs through July 12. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File) © The Associated Press FILE - -In this file photo taken April 12, 2011 at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, art conservators Janusz Czop, left, and Janusz Walek, right, present to journalists Leonardo da Vinci painting "Lady with an Ermine," Poland's most valuable picture. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Poland's Culture Minister Piotr Glinski appreciated the painting Sunday, July 2, 2017, at the National Museum in the southern city of Krakow, before opening the 41st annual session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee that runs through July 12. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File)

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Polish Culture Minister Piotr Glinski opened the session Sunday in a ceremony at the Renaissance Wawel Castle in Krakow, a historic city on the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Earlier, they viewed Poland's most precious painting, Leonardo da Vinci's "Lady with an Ermine," which the state bought last year from the aristocratic Czartoryski family.

The government says the session is among Poland's top cultural events this year. It brings together 21 member states, more than 170 observer nations and many non-governmental organizations.

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