LIVERPOOL (July 23): The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has voted narrowly to remove Liverpool’s waterfront from its list of world heritage sites on July 21, citing concerns about overdevelopment including plans for a new football stadium.
According to a BBC report, the developments including the planned new Everton FC stadium, had resulted in a "serious deterioration" of the historic site.
The report said the decision was made following a secret ballot by the Unesco committee at a meeting in China, where 13 delegates voted in favour of the proposal and five against — just one more than the two-thirds majority required to strip a site from the global list.
During the meeting, Unesco World Heritage Committee chairman Tian Xuejun declared that the site of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City is to be removed from the list.
This is the third site to be removed after previous decisions affecting Oman and Germany, the report said.
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said the move was “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 left-behind communities — and the wealth of jobs and opportunities that come with it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UK government said it was “extremely disappointed” with the decision and believes that “Liverpool still deserves its world heritage status given the significant role the historic docks and the wider city have played throughout history, said a spokesperson”, according to the report.
The coveted World Heritage label has been an attraction for the tourism industry, while encouraging governments to protect cultural or environmental treasures. However, it is a known fact that the label is not permanent, and sites can also be stripped of their status or be warned they are at risk.
First listed in 2004 as a heritage site, the waterfront and docks of Liverpool were recognised for their commendable efforts in regeneration following decades of decline in one of the cradles of Britain’s Industrial Revolution. A statue honoring the four members of The Beatles is also erected at the site.
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