During the twenty-eighth session of the World Heritage Committee a new cultural property located on the German territory was inscribed on the prestigious World Heritage List: the Dresden Elbe Valley. Nevertheless, two years later the World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe this cultural landscape on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Thus, the project of construction of a bridge (Waldschlösschen Bridge) across the Elbe threatened the integrity of the site and the outstanding universal value for which it had been inscribed on the List. Despite the World Heritage Committee’s threatening to remove the Dresden Elbe Valley from the World Heritage List, its recommendations, the international mission provided on the site including UNESCO and ICOMOS experts, as well as the various debates conducted within the German territory, the decision to build the bridge was taken. Consequently, the World Heritage Committee at its thirty-third session removed the Dresden Elbe Valley from the World Heritage List.
In this context a series of questions arises: why did the World Heritage Committee fail to protect the Dresden Elbe Valley, one property among the current 911 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List? Do the concept of Outstanding Universal Value and its ten criteria need to be revised in order to take into account the urban development required by the twenty-first century’s challenges? Should the concept of Historic Urban Landscape be included in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention?
|Keywords:||Dresden Elbe Valley, Tangible Cultural Heritage, 1972 World Heritage Convention, Outstanding Universal Value, Historic Urban Landscape, Sustainability, Urban Development|
PhD Student, International Graduate School: Heritage Studies, Chair Intercultural Studies, UNESCO Chair in Heritage Studies, Brandenburg Technical University, Cottbus, Brandenburg, Germany
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