UNESCO has voted to remove Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City from its world heritage list. The decision was taken nearly nine years after it was moved to the In Danger list. The waterfront was stripped off of its status by the committee because of “irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property”.
The committee, citing concerns about overdevelopment and plans for a new football stadium, voted to remove the Liverpool waterfront. The committee talks, chaired by China, had 13 delegates who voted in favour of the proposal and five against. Apparently, just one more than the 2/3rd majority is required to delete a site from the global list.
Tian Xuejun, Chairman of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, declared, “It means that the site of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City is deleted from the World Heritage List.”
Past removals Liverpool waterfront is the third in the UNESCO removal list. Before this, UNESCO delisted the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman and the Dresden Elbe Valley in Germany.
Calling it a “a retrograde step”, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said, “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.”
A number of people in the city are disappointed by the decision. Liverpool City Council cabinet member Harry Doyle said that they are more disappointed that UNESCO declined their 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 was also disappointed with the decision and said Liverpool “still deserves its world heritage status”.