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In 1999 Robben Island was inscribed on Unesco’s list of world heritage sites. As such it holds distinct historical meaning for South Africa and is a popular tourist destination. Robben Island is a complex, sensitive eco-system and as such is protected by South African Law as a nature conservation area. On the island are important places of commemoration that include the built fabric, routes and paths, gardens, views and vistas.

It has within it many and varied layers of history. Furthermore it is an island of many voices, including that of the disadvantaged, the oppressed, the sick, the privileged few, the religious, the imprisoned and the free. As a World Heritage Site it has to balance stringent conservation requirements with visitor access in line with Robben Island Museum’s mission of ensuring public access to the Island’s heritage.