"Every time we fail to preserve a site, we share the pain of the State Party," declared María Jesús San Segundo, the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO who is chairing the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee presently underway in Seville on Thursday.
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 as inscribed."
Dresden was inscribed as a cultural landscape in 2004. The Committee said that Germany could present a new nomination relating to Dresden in the future. In doing so, the Committee recognized that parts of the site might be considered to be of outstanding universal value, but that it would have to be presented under different criteria and boundaries.
The 18th- and 19th-century cultural landscape of Dresden Elbe Valley stretches some 18 km along the river from Übigau Palace and Ostragehege fields in the north-west to the Pillnitz Palace and the Elbe River Island in the south-east. The property, which features low meadows, and is crowned by the Pillnitz Palace as well as numerous monuments and parks from the 16th to 20th centuries in the city of Dresden, was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2006 because of the planned Waldschlösschen Bridge.
Dresden is only the second property ever to have been removed from the World Heritage List. The Oman´s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary was delisted in 2007. The 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee is meeting in Seville until 30 June. The Committee´s 21 members are reviewing the state of conservation of properties inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List and nominations for new inscriptions of cultural and natural sites on the List.