Liverpool [Britain], July 22: The decision of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to delete Liverpool from the list of World Heritage Sites was “extremely disappointing”, the city’s mayor Joanne Anderson said Wednesday.
“I’ve just heard the extremely disappointing news that Liverpool’s World Heritage status has been deleted. To be honest, I’m a bit gutted by this, as I’m sure many who love our city will be,” Anderson said.
The mayor’s remarks came after the World Heritage Committee on Wednesday decided to delete Liverpool from the World Heritage List “due to the irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property.”
“Liverpool — Maritime Mercantile City was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004 and on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012 following concerns about the proposed development of Liverpool Waters. The project has since gone ahead along with other developments both inside the site and in its buffer zone. The Committee considers that these constructions are detrimental to the site’s authenticity and integrity,” UNESCO said in a statement.
The decision has made Liverpool the third location to be removed from the list since World Heritage sites were introduced by UNESCO in the 1940s, following the Elbe Valley in Dresden, Germany and the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman.
“Any deletion from the World Heritage List is a loss to the international community and to the internationally shared values and commitments under the World Heritage Convention,” said the committee, during its 44th session held in Fuzhou, capital of east China’s Fujian province and online.
Liverpool’s historic centre and docklands were inscribed for bearing witness to the development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries. The site also illustrated pioneering developments in modern dock technology, transport systems and port management.
Anderson said the “chief error” was the assertion Liverpool’s World Heritage site has deteriorated.
“That is patently untrue. It is quite the reverse. In fact, Liverpool’s site has never looked better. A recent report highlighted that 700 million pounds (about 953.8 million U.S. dollars) have been poured in to upgrade dozens and dozens of the city’s historic and listed buildings over the last 10 years alone,” she said.
Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, told Xinhua: “UNESCO World heritage site status is a badge of honour which put Liverpool’s unique history on the global stage. It is hugely regrettable that this fine city has lost its status due to weak planning and regulation of new development.”
“Regeneration and economic development goes hand in hand with sustainable re-use of historic buildings and places. There’s no question that the docks need development and investment- and the historic buildings and docks should be the heart of that development with a robust masterplan and vision – not sidelined and overwhelmed with towers and unsympathetic new development,” Billings added.