Italy: Venice will not be listed as World Heritage in Danger

A new reprieve has been granted to the city despite concerns about the site threatened by overtourism and global warming.

By VD with AFP

According to UNESCO, the measures that have been taken so far by the city and the Italian government have proven insufficient.  (Illustrative photo).
According to UNESCO, the measures taken so far by the city and the Italian government have proven insufficient. (Illustrative photo).
© Pierre Teyssot / MAXPPP

Lhe city of Venice will ultimately not be listed as a world heritage site in danger, the World Heritage Committee meeting in Riyadh decided on Thursday, going against the recommendations of UNESCO experts. “The World Heritage Committee – the governing body of the World Heritage Convention made up of 21 Member States representing the 195 States Parties to the Convention – has today taken the decision not to inscribe Venice and its lagoon on the World Heritage List. heritage in danger,” indicated UNESCO, whose headquarters is in Paris, in a press release.

“This decision takes into account the progress made in recent days by UNESCO, in particular the establishment from 2024 of a system for managing visitor flows,” a diplomat told AFP. Even though its case was being discussed by UNESCO, the city of Venice very opportunely decided on Tuesday to introduce on a trial basis from 2024 a tax of five euros which will have to be paid. acquit tourists spending only one day in the City of the Doges. The main objective of this measure is to dissuade these day visitors who contribute to congesting a city famous throughout the world for its works of art, its bridges and its canals.

Climate deregulation

In 2024, this tax payable online will only concern a maximum of thirty days during which the number of tourists is traditionally higher. As soon as UNESCO announced that Venice had escaped the infamous classification, the Italian Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiulano was quick to hail “a victory for Italy and common sense”.

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Venice, however, is not definitively out of the woods: “The Committee reiterated its concerns regarding the significant challenges that remain to be met for the proper conservation of the site, particularly linked to mass tourism, development projects and disruption. climatic. He believes that further progress must be made.”

“Insufficient” measures

The Committee further requested Italy “to invite an advisory mission from the World Heritage Center (…) and submit a report by 1 February 2024, for the state of conservation of the site to be examined again during the 46th session of the Committee in the summer of 2024”. However, UNESCO recommended at the end of July that Venice be classified as “in danger”, a jewel threatened by too much tourism and global warming, due to “insufficient” measures taken in Italy to combat the deterioration of this site.

READ ALSO Rising sea levels and collapse threaten Venice

Venice has been postponing the taking of drastic measures for years, in particular the establishment of compulsory reservations and the quota on the number of entries to stem the surge of millions of tourists in the saturated historic center. UNESCO experts estimated that “continued development (of Venice), the impacts of climate change and mass tourism” threatened to “cause irreversible changes to the exceptional universal value of the property”.

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