Venice from the air - Giudecca Canal. Copyright Getty Images

Venice saved from UNESCO Heritage blacklist

By Region Culture News North-east Italy

Once again Venice is saved from making it onto the UNESCO Heritage blacklist. Whilst Venice’s mayor cheered the resolution, environmentalists and scientists were dismayed by the outcome.

For the second time in two years, Venice has escaped the ignominy of the UNESCO Heritage blacklist. At the annual meeting, this year in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, member states disregarded expert findings that Venice’s “outstanding universal value” was under “a growing and increasingly urgent threat.”

Rather than see the effects of climate change and over-tourism, they praised the city’s conservation efforts. Just as two years ago, Venice’s 11th-hour action – this time introducing a trial charging system, saved the city from inclusion.

 Read: Venice introduces trial day tripper charge

Two years ago, Venice banned large cruise ships from sailing past St. Mark’s Square and through the Giudecca canal.

Italy welcomes UNESCO decision

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro welcomed the decision as proof that “Venice is not at risk,″ calling the experts’ recommendations ”misleading.”

Deputy Premier Tajani said yesterday the government would continue to work to relaunch cultural heritage and tourism in Italy. “At UNESCO, thanks to the teamwork of the Italian government and Venice, we have achieved an international success for the lagoon city,” said Tajani on X.

“We will continue to work for a strong relaunch of cultural heritage and tourism in Italy,” he added.

In July, UNESCO recommended the lagoon city be added to its list of World Heritage in Danger. This was based on Italy not doing enough to protect the city from the climate crisis and mass tourism.

It “is demonstration that all the efforts we are making, at every institutional level, to safeguard Venice have been recognised, and that the proposal (to include the city) in the list of endangered sites was very political and not very technical,” said Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro.

“I am delighted to learn that Venice will not be included in UNESCO’s list of endangered sites. And, like every other Italian, I rejoice at this extraordinary result, which rewards the commitment of the Government, the Veneto Region and the City of Venice, who have worked together to win a difficult game,” said Tourism Minister Daniela Santanchè.

“However, this must not reduce our efforts to protect a city that is an open-air monument,” she continued. “We will continue to work to promote an increasingly accessible and sustainable tourism, in line with the industrial vision we have drawn up for the sector,” concluded the minister.

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