Introduction to UNESCO recommends putting Venice on its Heritage Danger List
The Italian city of Venice is recognized for its enchanting canals, ancient buildings, and dynamic culture. It captivates with well-known locations like St. Mark’s Square, gondola rides, and yearly festivities like Carnival as it floats on the Adriatic Sea. Rising tides provide difficulties, yet it is nevertheless a captivating UNESCO World Heritage site.
CNN says that UNESCO has suggested adding one of Italy’s most well-known and vulnerable tourist spots to its list of culturally endangered sites. The Italian government is being urged by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to “ensure the utmost dedication” to solve “long-standing problems” in Venice, which has been struggling with too many visitors and the consequences of climate change for years.
What is UNESCO’s Heritage Danger List?
The cultural or natural sites on UNESCO’s Heritage Danger List are those that are seriously endangered by conflict, natural catastrophes, or neglect. The listing process attempts to coordinate international preservation efforts. The list includes historical sites like Palmyra in Syria and ecological systems like the Great Barrier Reef. To reduce dangers and restore the integrity of the sites, interventions are planned with the relevant states. Removal necessitates significant advancements. The list highlights the importance of preserving the cultural and natural legacy of mankind, encouraging worldwide collaboration to maintain these priceless artifacts.
Venice in Danger?
Venice is one of the 1,157 locations that have received the title “World Heritage Site” and are considered to have “outstanding universal value” due to its cultural or natural resources. Before the 45th session of the agency’s World Heritage Committee, which is planned to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in September, the agency’s World Heritage Committee and advisory body specialists recommended adding Venice to the list of World Heritage in Danger. According to the proposed resolution, there has not been a “significant level of progress in addressing the persistent and complex issues related in particular to mass tourism, development projects, and climate change.”
According to the draft resolution, these problems are “degrading the cultural and social identity of the property and threatening the integrity of its cultural, environmental, and landscape attributes and values,” as well as causing harm to building structures and urban areas.
Venice’s Weather and Tourism difficulties
In recent years, Venice has had to deal with a true seesaw of weather-related issues.
A severe drought gripped the city in February of this year, making it difficult for gondolas, water taxis, and ambulances to navigate several canals. Flooding in November 2019 was so severe that structures and historical artifacts were at jeopardy.
A persistent problem in Venice has been over-tourism, and UNESCO acknowledged some of the measures taken to address it, including the prohibition on big ships entering the San Marco Basin – Giudecca Canal. Nevertheless, according to the assessment, “the effects of the continuing deterioration due to human intervention, including continuing development, the impacts of climate change, and mass tourism threaten to cause irreversible changes to the OUV [outstanding universal value]” of Venice. The Municipality of Venice reportedly stated that it “will carefully read the proposed decision published today by the Center for Unesco’s World Heritage Committee and will exchange views with the government, which is the State Party with which UNESCO interacts.”
Contributed by Sanal Pillai
Edited by Imtiaz Ullah