The Victorian docks in Liverpool, England, have been removed from UNESCO’s list of world heritage monuments after the United Nations’ cultural organization discovered that new constructions, including a football stadium, have detracted from its appeal.
In 2004, Liverpool was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, joining the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa as cultural icons. Only the third city has been eliminated from the elite list.
Following a decision by members of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in China, the international cultural body announced on Twitter that Liverpool should be removed from its list.
Joanne Anderson, the Liverpool mayor, said the decision was “incomprehensible” and she hopes to appeal.
“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. “We will be working with government to examine whether we can appeal.”
The only other sites stripped previously of the title are a wildlife sanctuary in Oman in 2007 after poaching and habitat loss and the Dresden Elbe valley in Germany in 2009 when a four-lane motorway bridge was built over the river.
The heritage label gives historic sites access to UN conservation funding as well as featuring in tourist guidebooks across the world.
The threat of being delisted has hung over Liverpool since 2012 after UNESCO warned that new buildings had changed the city’s skyline and was destroying the heritage value of its waterfront.