LONDON — Civic leaders in Liverpool expressed outrage Wednesday after the English port city was stripped of its World Heritage status by the United Nations’ culture organization.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted to remove the designation because of developments in the city center and on its historic River Mersey waterfront. The committee said the projects, including a planned new stadium for soccer team Everton, were “detrimental to the site’s authenticity and integrity” and had caused “irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property.”
Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson called the decision “incomprehensible.”
“I’m hugely disappointed and concerned by this decision to delete Liverpool’s World Heritage status, which comes a decade after UNESCO last visited the city to see it with their own eyes,” she said.
Anderson said the city would explore whether it could appeal, “but, whatever happens, Liverpool will always be a World Heritage city. We have a stunning waterfront and incredible built heritage that is the envy of other cities.”
Steve Rotheram, mayor of the wider Liverpool region, said the decision was “a retrograde step that does not reflect the reality of what is happening on the ground.”
The city that gave birth to The Beatles was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2004, joining sites including India’s Taj Mahal, Egypt’s pyramids and the Tower of London.
But it was placed on the organization’s heritage in danger list in 2012 after concerns modern development was marring the docklands’ historic character.