after the last Liverpool Port removed from World Heritage ListThe United Kingdom is at risk of losing another cultural landmark in the country: the famous stone circle at Stonehenge. Alert from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) came after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps gave carte blanche to build a two-mile road tunnel in the historic district, at a cost of £1.7 billion (12.3 billion R$).
According to Michteld Rossler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, project developers should be aware of the grandeur of historic places like Stonehenge before suggesting potentially devastating interventions. If the tunnels continue to be built, the famous (and mysterious) stone monument will make UNESCO’s list of “endangered” heritage sites – putting it one step closer to losing its status as a world treasure. “These are the most amazing places we have on Earth. If we can’t protect them, the question for me is ‘What is left on this planet?’” Rossler said.
Dating back to 3100 BC C., Stonehenge is one of the major and most important architectural monuments of late prehistoric times. It is located in the county of Wiltshire near London. In addition to their value to the world’s culture and history, Britain’s monuments are also responsible for transferring billions of pounds annually into the country’s economy, as well as attracting tourists from all over the world. Stonehenge, which entered the World Heritage List in 1986, is one of the UK’s most famous attractions.
Michteld Rossler explained that the British government needed to consider the benefits of conservation in places like Stonehenge and do all it could to protect the historic site for future generations. It also urged the authorities to prepare a document requesting UNESCO to place the stone monument on the List of Heritage in Danger in order to protect it. “I really encourage the UK authorities to bring everyone together and see what is the best solution because the warning has been issued several times.”
A UK court will soon decide whether Grant Shapps’ decision was unlawful for failing to adequately consider the various damages to Stonehenge. But the Department of Transportation has already said the decision was “correct, legal and well-informed”.
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