The IHBC has noted its profound regret on the news that Liverpool’s 2004 World Heritage Site (WHS) status as ‘Maritime Mercantile City’ has been lost – following on from a 2012 listing as being ‘in danger’ – with IHBC Chair and President express disappointment and the need to see what lessons can be learned.
image: Dave Chetwin
… huge disappointment after the hard work by our local members…
IHBC Chair David McDonald said: ‘This is a huge disappointment after the hard work by our local members in preparing the submission, and their excitement and satisfaction at the designation and its potential to lift and enhance the area – and so much of that now lost’.
IHBC President Mike Brown said: ‘This is a hugely disappointing decision, not only for Liverpool, but for UK heritage generally. It is certainly a serious blow for tourism on Merseyside which was showing great strides forward before being hit by the pandemic.’
‘I’m sure nobody wanted this miserable outcome. But UNESCO has been making its concerns clear for some time. Liverpool has a long and proud heritage which it has been my joy to share and experience over many a lost weekend.’
… can still work together to find a common way forward…
‘While it would be all too easy to get into a ‘blame game’ on this issue, all stakeholders do need to examine their own past actions to see what lessons there are to be learned and whether they can still work together to find a common way forward such that UNESCO reconsiders its decision. All you need is love.’
The World Heritage Committee, holding its 44th session in Fuzhou and online, 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.
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 has been stripped of its World Heritage status after a UN committee found developments threatened the value of the city’s waterfront.
The decision was made following a secret ballot by the Unesco committee at a meeting in China.
Unesco had said that the developments, including the planned new Everton FC stadium, had resulted in a ‘serious deterioration’ of the historic site.
The decision was described as ‘incomprehensible’ by the city’s mayor.
‘Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition having benefitted from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment across dozens of listed buildings and the public realm,’ Joanne Anderson said.
She said she would work with the government to examine whether the city could appeal against the decision, which comes ‘a decade after Unesco last visited the city to see it with their own eyes’….
For more on Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City see UNESCO