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Unesco removes Liverpool port city from list of World Heritage sites

Liverpool, the ancient port city of the British Empire which had become a model port and boosted the slave trade, has lost its heritage status. Unesco has removed it from the list of heritage sites for damaging the port's heritage properties with new constructions. Earlier it was put on a list of endangered heritage sites of 53 such sites.

PARIS, July 25: The British port city of Liverpool, famous for its docks, has become the third site ever to be stripped of its Unesco World Heritage status. The Unesco commitee said, because of “the irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property” due to new constructions, the port city in the north-west England has been removed from the list of World Heritage sites.

The city administration defended its actions saying the Unesco action is “incomprehensible.” Redevelopment of its waterfront shouldn’t disqualify it from the list , it said.

In a secret ballot recently, 13 members of the World Heritage Committee, which met in Fuzhou, China, voted to remove Liverpool from the list while five members opposed and two ballots were invalid.

Liverpool was accorded the World Heritage site status in 2004 in recognition of the innovative infrastructural achievenents it made in the 18th and 19 centuries towards enhancing world trade through its port. The British Empire's port had become a model port city. The port also facilitated slave trade, which brought it into prominence.

Liverpool has been on the endangered list of 53 such sites for quite some time. The city resorted to mixed-use redevelopment of parts of the waterfront near the city centre. The latest such activity was the creation of a 52,888-capacity sports stadium which destroys the 1848 Bramley Moore Dock.

“Our World Heritage site has never been in better condition having benefited from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment across dozens of listed buildings and the public realm,” Mayor Joanne Anderson said in a statement.

“I find it incomprehensible that Unesco would rather Bramley Moore Dock remain a derelict wasteland, rather than making a positive contribution to the city’s future and that of its residents,” Anderson said in her statement.

Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary and Dresden Elbe Valley in Germany are the only two sites that have lost its status.

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