The UN’s cultural agency UNESCO has recommended removing Liverpool’s waterfront from its list of world heritage sites over concerns about overdevelopment, a move that has angered many in the northwestern English city.
The guidance was publish ahead of a meeting of its World Heritage Committee, which oversees the
coveted accolade, in Fuzhou, China, from July 16-31.
In moves that have also caused controversy, it has proposed that sites including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Venice
and also Budapest be put on the list of “World Heritage in Danger,” meaning they risk being removed entirely.
Participants at the China meeting will take the final decision on the deletion and warning proposals.
UNESCO said in a statement Friday that the Maritime Mercantile City in central Liverpool is a “property proposed for
deletion from the World Heritage List” at the meeting in China.
They gave this series of buildings, warehouses and docks along the waterfront World Heritage status in 2004 for what
UNESCO said bears “witness to the development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries.”
According to Steve Rotheram
Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, described the move as “deeply disappointing.”
“We are proud of our history but our heritage is a vital part of our regeneration,” he says in a statement posted on social media.
“I’d urge them to take up our invitation to visit rather than taking their decision sat around a table on the other side of the world.”
Also proposed for deletion from the list is the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.
In Europe, the sites being added to the World Heritage in Danger list are Budapest and Venice, which have both been the subject of concerns on development and cruise ship tourism.
“This would be a very serious thing for our country” if they remove Venice, said Italy’s Culture Minister Dario
Franceschini, underlining the importance of finding long-term solutions to the problem of cruise ship tourism.
The valley of Kathmandu in Nepal is propose for inscription on the list of World Heritage in Danger, as is the region
around Lake Ohrid in Albania and Macedonia.
Australia said Tuesday that it would strongly oppose a UNESCO recommendation to list the Great Barrier Reef as “in
danger” over deterioration caused by climate change.
Also recommended for the in-danger list are the volcanoes of the Russian Pacific region of Kamchatka.
By Victoria E.I