Angola seeks UNESCO heritage status for old city

Angola seeks to restore the luster of Mbanza Congo, a town that was a royal capital centuries ago and is a candidate to become a UNESCO world heritage site.

This week, Angola's culture ministry hosted experts who discussed the UNESCO bid in the northwestern town, and an exhibition of documents related to the ancient Congo kingdom opened in Luanda, the capital.

The Portuguese news agency Lusa says the exhibition includes a 1493 letter in which the king of Portugal, which colonized the area, ordered that clothing be presented to the Congo king.

Lusa says Angola is upgrading historical sites in Mbanza Congo and that the heritage bid will be assessed at a UNESCO meeting in Poland next year. Mbanza Congo contains the remains of a royal cemetery and a cathedral.