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UNESCO Delists Liverpool of Its World Heritage Status

UNESCO Delists Liverpool of Its World Heritage Status

Why in news?

  • Recently, the city of Liverpool, England has been removed from UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) list of world heritage sites.
  • Earlier six Indian places were added to the tentative list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.

Liverpool

  • The port city was included in the prestigious list for its architectural beauty and in recognition of its role as one of the world’s most important ports during the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • It was named a World Heritage Site in 2004, joining cultural landmarks such as the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • The city is only the third place to be removed from the prestigious list.                                    UNESCO Delists Liverpool of Its World Heritage Status

Reasons for Delisting

  • The new buildings including a football stadium undermine the attractiveness of its Victorian docks and were destroying the heritage value of its waterfront.
  • The over development would irreversibly damage the heritage of the historic port.
  • UK’s response
  • The UK culture minister Caroline Dinenage informed the committee that the UK government was serious about preserving Liverpool’s character and argued that the delisting “would be a huge loss”.                                                                                      UNESCO Delists Liverpool of Its World Heritage Status
  • Liverpool’s newly elected mayor Joanne Anderson also said that she was “really disappointed” in the decision and would try to appeal.

Sites removed from WHS status till now

  • Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, Oman: The first site to be removed in 2007. The sanctuary had become a World Heritage Site in 1994. The status was given inorder to protect the oryx population in the sanctuary. But, oil reserves were found in the area which led to rampant exploitation, and eventually hunting and poaching of the oryx. This reduced the population of oryx by 90 percent. This led to the removal of Oman’s site from the World Heritage Site List.                                                  UNESCO Delists Liverpool of Its World Heritage Status
  • Dresden Elbe Valley, Germany: The removal led to a national embarrassment for Germany. The Valley is a 20 km-long site, which was given the status in 2004. But the local government wanted to construct a bridge over the valley which became the bone of contention between the supporters and opponents of the bridge. According to a UNESCO’s Committee this bridge (the Waldschlösschen Bridge) would bisect the valley and due protection would not be given once the bridge is constructed. However, the local government carried a voting for the issue, without informing the voters that a construction of the bridge would result in delisting of the site from the World Heritage Site, stopping the funds for its protection, and eventually leading to decrease in tourism. Thus in 2009 UNESCO removed Dresden Elbe Valley from the list.
  • Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, England: The recent one to be removed was conferred the status in 2004. It consists of 6 locations in the city centre which UNESCO considered for being the best example of a commercial port at a time when Britain had global influence. But Liverpool’s projects like the Water Redevelopment project, the construction of new buildings in the vicinity and also the construction of new football ground raised the concerns about the protection which England gives to such sites. These events led the World Heritage Committee to delist the site in 2021.                                                                          UNESCO Delists Liverpool of Its World Heritage Status

 

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