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Dresden Elbe Valley Keeps World Heritage Status

German site maintains World Heritage status - UNESCO

4 July 2008 - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee announced that that Dresden Elbe Valley will retain its status, voicing hope that construction of a four-lane bridge on the German site will be halted and any damage reversed.

The Committee - whose annual meeting kicked off yesterday in Quebec, Canada - said it regretted the building of the bridge, calling on authorities to create a tunnel instead. It noted that if the bridge construction is not stopped and undo any damage caused, the property, which is on the Danger List, would be taken off the World Heritage List next year.

Given current legal proceedings in Germany, the group decided to give the Dresden Elbe Valley more time to allow opposition to bridge construction to succeed, despite its decision last year to remove it from the World Heritage List.

About 18 kilometres long, the Dresden Elbe Valley site was inscribed in 2004 for its "outstanding cultural landscape," which brings together a combination of baroque and other historic buildings and landscape features in and around the city of Dresden into a parkland setting along the river.

Currently there are 851 sites of "outstanding universal value" in 141 countries that have been inscribed on the World Heritage List, and each year sites are added after applications are first reviewed by either the International Council on Monuments and Sites or the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

ENDS

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