Liverpool loses UNESCO world heritage status

The city of Liverpool has been removed from UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites because new buildings undermined the attractiveness of its Victorian docks — making it only the third site to be removed from the prestigious list.

UNESCO announced that the World Heritage Committee decided to delete the property “Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City” (UK) from the World Heritage List “due to the irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property.”

The committee said: “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.

“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.

“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.

“After the Elbe Valley in Dresden (Germany) and the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman), Liverpool is the third property to lose its World Heritage status.”

Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson said the decision was “incomprehensible” — coming a decade after UNESCO officials last visited.

Anderson said she hopes to appeal the decision.

“I’m hugely disappointed and concerned,” she said.

“Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition having benefitted from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.