UNESCO removes Venice from the list of World Heritage Cities at Risk

UNESCO retira Veneza da lista das cidades Património Mundial em risco

The city of Venice will be left off the endangered World Heritage list after Italy's government decided to ban cruise ships from entering the city, it was announced Thursday.

According to Lusa, the Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is meeting in Fuzhou, China, and has announced to the Italian government that Venice will not be included in the list of World Heritage cities at risk.

The announcement comes days after the Italian government decided that, as of August 1, large cruise ships are banned from entering the center of Venice.

The measure aims to preserve the city's historic area and the Venetian lagoon, in response not only to warnings previously issued by UNESCO but also to environmental and safety concerns that have arisen over decades due to the heavy traffic of large tourist vessels.

In fact, the end of the passage of large ships was one of the conditions imposed to avoid removal from the list of cities considered World Heritage Sites.

Venice has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1987. In 2012, UNESCO had already called on the government of Italy to look for alternatives to maritime traffic in the Venetian canals.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini welcomed the decision taken now by UNESCO, admitting that Venice remains under "high worldwide attention" and that "it is everyone's duty" to work for the city's protection.

From the Italian government, UNESCO wants to receive an updated report on the state of conservation of the city by 2022, a plan and a timetable for implementing preventive measures before the new meeting of the Heritage Committee, scheduled for 2023.

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