Liverpool just lost its UNESCO World Heritage status

VSLiverpool’s civic leaders expressed outrage on Wednesday July 21 after the English port city was stripped of its World Heritage status by the United Nations cultural organization.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee voted by secret ballot to withdraw the designation due to developments in the city center and on its historic waterfront on the River Mersey. The committee said the plans, including a planned new stadium for the Everton football team, were “detrimental to the authenticity and integrity of the site” and had caused “an irreversible loss of attributes”.

Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson called the move “incomprehensible”.

“I am extremely disappointed and concerned with this decision to remove Liverpool’s World Heritage status, which comes a decade after UNESCO last visited the city to see it with its own eyes,” she said .

Anderson said the city would consider whether it could be attractive, “but, whatever happens, Liverpool will always be a World Heritage city. We have a breathtaking waterfront and an incredible built heritage that is the envy of other cities.

Liverpool was one of the busiest ports in the world in the 18th and 19th centuries, thriving on the trade in goods and, until the trade in humans was banned by Britain in 1807, in slaves. The docks declined and became derelict in the 20th century, but have been restored with museums, shops, bars, restaurants and new real estate developments, making Liverpool a symbol of urban renewal.

The city that gave birth to the Beatles was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004, joining sites such as the Taj Mahal in India, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Tower of London.

But it was placed on the organization’s heritage in danger list in 2012 as modern development disrupted the historic character of the docks.

The World Heritage Committee, made up of representatives from 21 countries, was asked to decide the fate of Liverpool after an expert report declared that “inadequate governance processes, mechanisms and regulations for new developments in in and around the World Heritage property ”have resulted in“ severe deterioration and irreversible loss of attributes.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Greater Liverpool Region, said the decision was “a retrograde step which does not reflect the reality of what is happening on the ground”.

“Many of the sites cited by UNESCO are in communities that are in dire need of investment,” he said. “Places like Liverpool should not be faced with the binary choice between maintaining heritage status or regenerating communities left behind – and the wealth of jobs and opportunities that come with it. “

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