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Sunet over Liverpool docks, with the illuminated buildings on the waterfront reflected in the water
Photograph: Shutterstock

Liverpool has been stripped of its Unesco World Heritage Site status

The ‘outstanding universal value’ of the city’s waterfront has been compromised by new buildings, says the heritage body

Rosie Hewitson
Written by
Rosie Hewitson

Since 2004, Liverpool’s docks have enjoyed Unesco World Heritage status – placed on the prestigious list of sites across the globe recognised by the heritage body for their historical and cultural significance. In this case, the city was awarded the title for its history as a key trading site during the British Empire. 

But now the Maritime Mercantile City has been officially stripped of its place alongside the likes of Pompeii, Easter Island and the Great Wall of China, following a meeting of Unesco officials in China earlier this week. 

In a blow to Liverpool’s tourism industry, the body concluded that years of development on the city’s waterfront has compromised the ‘outstanding universal value’ of the site – citing Everton Football Club’s £500 million new riverside stadium among the new buildings that have caused ‘irreversible loss’ to the area.

As a result of its delisting, the docklands will no longer be able to access UN conservation funding. It is only the third site to be stripped of its place on the list, following the removal of Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary and Germany’s Dresden Elbe valley. 

The decision has been met with anger and disappointment by the city’s officials, with mayor Joanne Anderson saying that ‘Unesco have made the wrong call’, adding that the site has ‘never been in better condition, having benefited from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment’.

It’s a bummer for the Scousers, but at least they’ll always have Stevie G and the Beatles...

And on the subject of the Fab Four, did you see this luxury cruise company is hosting a Beatles-themed trip around Japan?

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