Liverpool is stripped of Unesco World Heritage status
Liverpool was stripped of its World Heritage Status after a UN committee discovered that developments were threatening the city’s waterfront.
After a secret vote by the Unesco committee at its meeting in China, the decision was taken.
Unesco stated that the development, which included the proposed new Everton FC football stadium, had caused a “serious degradation” of the historic site.
The Mayor of the city described the decision as “incomprehensible”.
Joanne Anderson stated that “our World Heritage site is in a better condition than ever because of hundreds of millions of pounds invested across dozens listed buildings and the public domain.”
She stated that she would work with the government in order to determine if the city could appeal the decision. This comes “a decade since Unesco last visited the town to see it with their own eyes”.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said that the decision was “a retrograde move that does not reflect the reality on the ground.”
He stated that Liverpool shouldn’t be forced to choose between preserving its heritage or regenerating the left-behind communities, and the wealth of opportunities and jobs that come with it.
The government was “extremely disappointed” by the decision, and feels Liverpool still has the right to be considered a heritage city “given the important role that the historic docks and wider city have played throughout the history of the country”.
Liverpool is the third World Heritage site to lose its status since 1978. The other two are Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (2007, Oman) and Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley (2009, Germany).
Tian Xuejun, chairman of the committee, announced the decision by stating that 20 votes were cast. 13 people voted to delete the city and five were against it. Two ballot papers were invalid.
Liverpool Liberal Democrat leader Richard Kemp stated that it was a “day shame” for the city, and added that it would “without a doubt”, affect our tourism investment.
In 2004, the city received the coveted title due to its historic and architectural contributions. It is home to the Taj Mahal and the Egyptian Pyramids, as well as the Canterbury Cathedral.
It recognized its historical role as a major trading hub during the British Empire and its architectural landmarks.
The World Heritage Committee reported in June that the city’s waterfront development had led to the “irreversible loss” of its attributes.
It mentioned the Liverpool Waters project as well as Everton’s new stadium which is currently being built at Bramley Moore Dock.
Dr Mechtild Rosler, Unesco director, said that the city was warned about its possible removal from the list over many years.
A letter was signed by nearly 30 people from academia, football, and politics to The Times in June asking Unesco to not strip the city of its status.