The English city of Liverpool was removed from the UNESCO World Heritage List on Wednesday as new buildings undermined the attractiveness of the Victorian docks, making it only the third site to be removed from the prestigious list.
Liverpool was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Cultural Organization in 2004, joining landmarks such as the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
After a vote in China by members of the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO said the new buildings in Liverpool undermine the “authenticity and integrity” of the city.
Liverpool, the birthplace of the Beatles, was included in the Heritage List in recognition of its role as one of the world’s most important port cities in the 18th and 19th centuries and for its architectural beauty.
Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson said the decision to remove the city from the list was “incomprehensible” ten years after UNESCO officials last visited. Anderson said she hopes to appeal the decision.
“I am extremely disappointed and concerned,” she said. “Our World Heritage has never been in better shape and has benefited from hundreds of millions of pounds of investment.”
The only other sites 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 bridge was built across 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 plans for flats and offices would destroy the city’s skyline.
Plans for Everton football club’s new stadium on part of the former docks were approved earlier this year, despite objections from conservation authorities.