Dresden dropped from UNESCO World Heritage List

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Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley was removed from the list due to the building of a four-lane bridge in the heart of the cultural landscape.

Madrid -- UNESCO announced Thursday it had removed Dresden's Elbe Valley from its World Heritage List because the eastern German city had gone ahead with the building of a road bridge.

UNESCO said it is only the second site ever to have been removed from the World Heritage List, after Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was dropped in 2007.

The decision, which had been expected, came on the fourth day of a meeting of a UNESCO committee in Seville, in southern Spain, to decide which of 27 sites deserved to be added to its World Heritage List.

"The World Heritage Committee decided to remove Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley from UNESCO’s World Heritage List due to the building of a four-lane bridge in the heart of the cultural landscape which meant that the property failed to keep its 'outstanding universal value'," a UNESCO statement said.

Dresden had only been on the list since 2004, and the minister for the new territories brought in under reunification from the former communist East Germany, Wolfgang Tiefense, said that there had been "more than enough time" in which to find a "compromise."

The meeting of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation continues in Seville until June 30.


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