We know we’re on the UNESCO naughty stair (but what a stair. It’s got that beautiful worn patina of age, and is authentically vernacular) but it’s good to know we’re in great company…
The near-hysterical coverage of the recent UNESCO threat to strike us from their of list World Heritage Status sites omitted to mention just how commonplace this conundrum is.
Nowhere does the Echo, the Guardian, the BBC or the Liverpool Preservation Trust, say that, at any one time, UNESCO are threatening to withdraw their favour from dozens of sites across the globe. It’s just not that unusual. They practically hand these gongs out on comical elasticated string. Talk about the boy who cried ‘heritage!’.
The world, as John Barnes once sort-of-rapped, is in motion. World Heritage sites are always in a state of flux. At least those in dynamic cities are. They’re the Schrodinger’s Cat of attractions: in a suspended state of being and yet not being. When is a World Heritage Sight safe? When it’s wrapped in cling film and left in stasis.
Next month, UNESCO will vote on its findings, and send them to the council – this after a fact finding mission of the £5.5billion Liverpool Waters development at the heart of UNESCO’s ire. “This goes too far” said chief inspector Ron van Oers at the time. There’s a man who’s never seen Take Me Out, then.
So this will be the first major test for Mayor Anderson. In the meantime, we salute our top ten World Heritage sites currently on the naughty stair with us.
As we wait for the findings, let’s remember the words of Barnsey:
They’ll always hit you and hurt you/defend and attack/there’s only one way to beat them/get round the back…
Hmmm, maybe that goes too far. But we’ll do it for our city. Before they do it to us. Three graces on our shirts, and all that…
This popular holiday hotspot is, according to UNESCO, a hotbed of illegal and highly offensive hotels. And we should know, we booked a last minute all-inclusive there last summer. Shocking polyester duvets, and there’s no way that was a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The nerve.
So yeah, UNESCO then. Quicker to anger than Kevin Keegan in a tight spot. And you know what, we might have angered the UNESCO Gods. But we’d love it if we beat them.