Liverpool, U.K., becomes 3rd site stripped of UNESCO world heritage status

New buildings undermine the ‘integrity’ of the city’s Victorian docks, committee says

The English city of Liverpool was on Wednesday removed from the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as new buildings diminish the charm of its Victorian docks, making it only the third site to be removed from the prestigious list.

Liverpool was named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Cultural Organization in 2004, which includes sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Following a vote in China by members of its World Heritage Committee, UNESCO said new buildings in Liverpool were undermining the city’s “authenticity and integrity”.

Liverpool – the hometown of the Beatles – was placed on the heritage list in recognition of its role as one of the world’s most important ports during the 18th and 19th centuries and for its architectural beauty.

Liverpool Mayor Joan Anderson said the decision to remove the city from the list was “incomprehensible” a decade after UNESCO officials last visited. Anderson said she hopes to appeal the decision.

“I am extremely disappointed and worried,” she said. “Our World Heritage site has never been in better shape, benefiting from an investment of millions of pounds.”

Poaching and habitat loss in Oman in 2007 and the Dresden Elbe valley in Germany in 2009 when a four-lane bridge was built over the river are the only other sites stripped of the title.

The Heritage Label provides historic sites with UN conservation funding as well as access to tourist guidebooks around the world.

The threat of being de-listed has loomed over Liverpool since 2012 after UNESCO warned that plans for flats and offices would destroy the city’s skyline.

Plans for Everton Football Club’s new stadium, part of the former dock, were approved earlier this year despite objections from conservation bodies.

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