UNESCO recognized the Fray Bentos Industrial-Cultural Complex as a World Heritage site.
The meat processing complex in Fray Bentos was built in 1859. (Photo: Hector Gomez/UNESCO)

FRAY BENTOS, Uruguay – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recently named an industrial meat processing complex in Uruguay to its World Heritage List. Fray Bentos is a port on the Uruguay River.

UNESCO’s World Heritage committee selected the Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape for inclusion because “its physical location, industrial and residential buildings as well as social institutions” represent the entire process of meat processing on a global scale — sourcing, processing, packing and distribution.

The complex was built after a factory was founded in 1859, according to UNESCO’s website. The site includes buildings and equipment owned by German firm Liebig Extract of Meat Company, which was well-known for its corned-beef products and meat extract exports to Europe from 1865. The company also invented the Oxo bouillon cube. The Anglo Meat Packing Plant, which exported frozen meat, bought the facility in 1924.

UNESCO put Fray Bentos on list that includes sites of Japan’s Meiji industrial revolution; the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey; and the 16th century aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System in Mexico. The committee also approved the addition of the Camino Frances and Routes of Northern Spain to Spain’s Routes of Santiago de Compostela world heritage site.