arts and design

Why did Unesco drop Liverpool from its heritage list?


Two centuries ago, more than 40% of global trade passed through Liverpool’s port. The bricks and mortar that remain are steeped in this maritime history, and that’s what made Unesco put the city on its heritage list in 2004, alongside illustrious others such as the Taj Mahal, Venice and the Great Wall of China. In recent years, though, developments in the old heart of Liverpool have raised the UN body’s eyebrows. Warnings were issued about the property deals being signed off in the area, and now Liverpool has been removed from the heritage list. What’s more, Unesco has issued a warning that other UK sites will join Liverpool if the government doesn’t take better care of the country’s heritage.

Nosheen Iqbal talks to The Guardian’s North of England correspondent, Josh Halliday, about what went so wrong for Liverpool, and whether a city has to choose between preserving its past and building for its future prosperity.



A view of Liverpool's Pier Head waterfront area, with the ferry terminal, the Liver building and a statue of Edward VII

Photograph: PA Thompson/Getty Images

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