The English city of Liverpool has been removed from the UNESCO World Heritage List after the United Nations cultural agency found new buildings, including a football stadium, that undermined the attractiveness of the Victorian docks.
Declared a World Heritage Site in 2004, Liverpool joined cultural sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The city is only the third place to be dropped from the prestigious list.
Following a vote in China by members of the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO said on Twitter that Liverpool should be removed from the international cultural organization’s list.
Joanne Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, said the decision was “incomprehensible” and hopes to appeal.
“I am deeply disappointed and concerned by this decision to remove Liverpool’s World Heritage status, a decade after UNESCO last visited the city to see it with their own eyes,” she said. “We will work with the government to investigate whether we can appeal.”
The only other locations previously stripped of the title are a nature reserve in Oman in 2007 after poaching and habitat loss and the Elbe Valley in Germany in 2009 when a four-lane highway bridge was built over the river.
The heritage label gives historic sites access to UN funding for conservation and also features in tourist guides around the world.
The threat of delisting has loomed over Liverpool since 2012 after UNESCO warned that new buildings had altered the city’s skyline and destroyed the waterfront’s heritage value.