The beloved Alamo and San Antonio Missions could be the 21st century Stonehenge.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) soon will vote whether or not to recognize the San Antonio Missions as a World Heritage site.
The journey to recognition has taken over 6 years. The honor represents a unique cultural heritage with world-wide significance, according to a House of Representatives press release.
Texas politicians, however, remain split over the potential effects the decision would have for the Alamo and city of San Antonio.
State Rep. Rick Galindo, R-San Antonio, urged the House to support the nomination of the San Antonio Missions. Galindo’s resolution was referred last week to the House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism.
The designation of the San Antonio Missions would bring over the next ten years an additional $105 million in economic activity as well as $2.2 million in hotel tax revenue, according to a report published by the Bexar County Commissioners Court.
Economic benefits aside, Senator Donna Campbell of New Braunfels and State Rep. Molly White of Belton have both proposed bills that might negatively influence the UN’s decision.
Campbell and White's strong language throughout both bills reveals hostility toward an international agency, or rather "foreign entity," (SB 191) having a hand in the beneficial development and economic stimulants of San Antonio. Ironically neither member of the legislature is from San Antonio.
In her proposed bill, White explicitly states that the Texas government may not strike an agreement of any sort with organizations "accredited by the United Nations."
The Texas Tribune reports, Campbell speaking before The Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee, “The Alamo is a story of Texas, and it should be owned, operated, and maintained, controlled by Texans.”
Both bills are currently being deliberated in a committee.