Major winds for Liverpool. UNESCO has removed this port from its list of World Heritage Sites in northwestern England, known as the birthplace of the Beatles. Thirteen representatives of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, whose current session is chaired by China, voted for the upgrade of the port, which was classified in 2004, and five against, that is, to downgrade a site. more than the required two-thirds majority. Following similar decisions concerning the sanctuary of the Arabian oryx in Oman in 2007 and the Elbe Valley in Dresden (Germany) in 2009, Liverpool thus became the third site to suffer this fate.
In question: The redevelopment plan of the port, which has very tall buildings and a new football stadium puts its heritage at risk “irreversibly damaging”, the UNESCO committee said. Liverpool was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site after decades of degradation followed by an ambitious rehabilitation of the seafront and dock. A port of departure for millions of Irish and British immigrants, as well as African slaves, the city with a rich musical heritage is also the birthplace of the Beatles: a history that UNESCO recognized as “uniqueness and spirit” unique from Liverpool.
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However, the International Council of Monuments and Sites, which advises UNESCO, had already “repeatedly asked” the British government to provide more concrete guarantees about the future of the city, which appeared on the list since 2012. The legacy is in danger. But development projects continued to such an extent that it lost its authenticity. The new stadium for Everton Football Club – approved by the government without any public scrutiny – is “the most recent example of a major project that is completely opposite”, the council said.
Several countries that have also been threatened with decommissioning, including Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef, have spoken out against removing Liverpool from the list, believing it would be a “radical” measure amid the coronavirus pandemic. Brazil, Hungary and Nigeria have requested that the decision be postponed by a year to give more time to the new city council elected in May.
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The coveted World Heritage label is a boon to tourism and encourages governments to protect their cultural or environmental treasures. But the addition is not permanent, and these sites may even be removed from their status or warned that they are in danger.
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