The Committee gathered in Cracow has put off all decisions for two years, averting the condemnation of the Lagoon,
by Lorenzo Padovan
VENICE: Venice can breathe a sigh of relief. The condemnation of UNESCO has been averted, but the pearl of the Lagoon has been nevertheless been given until 2019 to complete its virtuous path.
The decision was taken today by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, meeting in Cracow for its 41st session.
The United Nations body expressed “appreciation for the work undertaken by the Government in close cooperation with the City of Venice and the local authorities”, taking in to account progress already made and recognizing the complexities inherent in the conservation of the site.
The postponement was not relaxed for all things: confirmed, therefore, was the need to allocate adequate time for technical verification of the solutions already identified and underway, relative to the principal questions receiving UNESCO’s attention.
These concern the project to manage tourism, an alternative route to Cruise Ships passing through the Bacino San Marco (this is leaning towards the solution of using the Canal Vittorio Emmanuele), the care and preservation of local identity and traditions. Finally, local and national institutions have been invited to reach a full consensus with the many stakeholders: an explicit reference to the protest of the residents who are overwhelmed by the crowds created by 30 million tourists a year.
Among the main areas of progress that have been recognized at Venice are the placement of arrival stations for the “launches” bringing tourists, a ban on the change of use of residential property in to tourist lodgings, the presentation of the list of 10 steps to “Respect Venice” against damage to the city, a unique ticket for the Metropolitan City for 28 Euro – including vaporetti, children for free – and a census of tourists using people counters and cell phones, already almost ready to activate.
The update on the status of conservation of the Site, illustrating progress already made, is set for 1 December 2018, which will be evaluated during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in 2019.
During the session today it was instead Vienna on the slate, added to the black list and now at risk of being removed from the list of World Heritage Sites.
Source: La Stampa, 7-7-2017