Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan, responds to the news Liverpool is no longer a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but says this great city doesn’t need a label.
When Liverpool started the process of securing World Heritage Site status around 2001, it was during a time when the city was gearing up to be European Capital of Culture. It was the ambition and the voice of the people that secured the UNESCO status for Liverpool. UNESCO has not listened to that voice.
Liverpool is a city that has built its economy over the last 25 years on the back of that wonderful, glorious and colourful voice. The voices of its people, the beauty of its buildings, its history, and its future coalescing to make it the most exciting city in the UK.
I’m cross because the people making this decision did not visit our beautiful city, they did not see the investment that the city has made rightly and properly in its incredible infrastructure. But more importantly, the UNESCO officials did not witness what every person who visits this city witnesses, which is the fizz and excitement that transcends its stage.
I love this city. I hate it when unfair things are said about the city. Liverpool is bigger than all of this and the site on Bramley Moore Dock, under the brilliant stewardship of Denise Barrett-Baxendale, will be remembered long after this wrong and hasty decision has been made.
This city, its people, its organisations, its politicians, work collegiately and creatively to develop and shape a city for future generations – we always have done and we always will – we are still a UNESCO city of music, we will always be a world heritage city.
More importantly – we are a city that needs No Labels.