UN removes Liverpool from heritage list
LIVERPOOL: The UN’S cultural agency Unesco on Wednesday voted narrowly to remove Liverpool’s waterfront from its list of world heritage sites, citing concerns about overdevelopment including plans for a new football stadium.
At commitee talks chaired by China, 13 delegates voted in favour of the proposal and five against -- just one more than the twothirds majority required to delete a site from the global list.
“It means that the site of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City is deleted from the World Heritage List,” Tian Xuejun, chairman of Unesco’s World Heritage Commitee, declared.
It is only the third such removal, ater previous decisions affecting Oman and Germany, and followed two days of commitee discussions that exposed tensions about how cities around the world can preserve their past while also moving forward.
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram called it “a retrograde step” taken by officials “on the other side of the world.”
“Places like Liverpool should not be faced with the binary choice between maintaining heritage status or regenerating let-behind communities -- and the wealth of jobs and opportunities that come with it,” he said.
Liverpool City Council cabinet nember Harry Doyle said he was “extremely disappointed by the results” but said the city’s heritage was “still here to stay.”
“We’re even more disappointed that Unesco declined our offer to come to the city and see for themselves the work that’s going on,” Doyle said.
“They’ve made this decision in isolation halfway across the world.”
The UK government also expressed disappointment with the decision, saying Liverpool “still deserves its world heritage status.”
But Unesco delegates heard the redevelopment plans, including high-rise buildings, would “irreversibly damage” the heritage of the port in northwest England.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites, which advises Unesco on the heritage list, said the UK government had been “repeatedly requested” to come up with stronger assurances about the city’s future.
The planned new stadium for Everton football club was approved by the government without any public enquiry, and “is the most recent example of a major project that is completely contrary” to Unesco goals, it said.