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Liverpool off Unesco World Heritage list

2021-07-21T21:26:38.257Z

Liverpool lost its World Heritage status due to new developments in the city that have affected its historical fabric.



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(CNN) -

Liverpool is famous for its docks, the Beatles, and its two world-renowned soccer teams, but now the city is going through a different kind of notoriety.

The port city in northwestern England, which made much of its fortune from slavery, has been stripped of its coveted Unesco World Heritage status, after a world committee decided that new developments in the city have affected too much its historical fabric.

The decision was made by the Unesco World Heritage Committee, which is currently in session in Fuzhou, China.

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Liverpool was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. It lost its status in 2021.

Liverpool had previously been one of 53 sites on UNESCO's World Heritage in Danger list, a kind of watch list that allows authorities to seek comprehensive solutions to preserve the heritage at stake.

Liverpool had been on the endangered list since 2012, and was first added to the World Heritage list in 2004, a status awarded to other major tourist destinations, such as Machu Picchu in Peru, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, and the Acropolis of Greece.

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UNESCO said in a statement that the city had been "removed" from the list "due to the irreversible loss of the site's outstanding universal value."

He said the Liverpool Waters development, a decades-long planned regeneration of the city's famous docks, "is detrimental to the authenticity and integrity of the site."

The development proposal, which includes apartments, offices, shops and hotels on the former docks, was responsible for Liverpool's inscription on the endangered list in 2012.

But locals say it has also been a crucial project to provide local jobs.

A new stadium for the Everton football team proposed for the Bramley-Moore docks was also cited by Unesco as a suppressing factor.

Noting its "regret", the committee wrote that "the State party has not complied with the Committee's repeated requests".

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Curiosities about the Unesco World Heritage List 1:55

Unesco's decision is "wrong", according to Liverpool

Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, has said she is "enormously disappointed and concerned" by the decision, stating that UNESCO has not fully evaluated the city in "a decade" and called the decision "completely wrong".

"Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition having benefited from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in dozens of listed buildings and the public realm," he added.

“We will work with the government to see if we can appeal but whatever happens Liverpool will always be a World Heritage city.

We have an impressive waterfront and an incredible built heritage that is the envy of other cities.

"Our commitment to maintaining and improving our buildings remains as strong as ever and will continue to be a key part of our drive to attract visitors, along with entertainment, shopping and events."

"I find it incomprehensible that UNESCO would prefer that Bramley Moore Dock remain an abandoned wasteland, rather than make a positive contribution to the future of the city and its residents."

Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool city region, also condemned the move, calling it a "retrograde step that does not reflect the reality of what is happening on the ground."

Curiosities about the Unesco World Heritage List 1:55

"Places like Liverpool should not be faced with the binary choice between maintaining heritage status or regenerating abandoned communities, and the sheer amount of jobs and opportunities that come with it," he said in a statement.

In a blog post, Anderson added:

"Yes, there is a new development, but the forest of skyscrapers that raised the alarm in the first place simply has not materialized."

“Unesco called for a moratorium on development in the city center.

They were told that this was against UK planning law. "

"Since we have not had a full visit from the Unesco mission since 2011, invitations have been issued constantly over the last decade to resolve this deadlock."

Few places have been removed from the Heritage list

UNESCO says the last visit was made in 2015, and that Isabelle Anatole Gabrielle, head of the World Heritage Center's Europe and North America office, also visited the city in 2017 to meet with city council representatives.

Liverpool insists, however, that none of these visits was "complete".

Liverpool is the third World Heritage site to be removed from the list, after the Elbe Valley in Dresden, Germany, and the Arab Shrine of Oryz in Oman.

"The removal of a site from the World Heritage List is a loss for the international community and for the values ​​and commitments derived from the World Heritage Convention," Unesco said in a statement.

The committee will assess whether global icons such as Venice and the Great Barrier Reef should be placed on the endangered list.

LiverpoolUNESCO

Source: cnnespanol

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