Why Stonehenge doesn’t have to go the same way as Liverpool

It has not been a good month for the United Kingdom’s internationally important heritage sites. Stonehenge is teetering on the edge of losing its world heritage site status, with Unesco warning the UK government against a proposed £1.7b, two-mile long road tunnel near to the site. If so, it could go the same way as Liverpool, which lost its World Heritage Site status last week. In a city that boasts more Georgian buildings than Bath, the arguments have quickly polarised. In one corner, the developers and city authority decry the intransigence of Unesco and maintain that change is necessary to generate jobs and a thriving economy; and in the other,

The disgraceful decision to remove Liverpool’s heritage status

Unesco has cancelled the ‘World Heritage Status’ of the Necropolis at Memphis and the Giza Pyramid because a Radisson Blu hotel has been built in neighbouring Cairo. That’s not true, but for a similarly absurd reason Liverpool has been de-listed from heritage Valhalla by word-mincing bureaucrats. Not many Liverpudlians will care about this imbecilic and ignorant decision – Liverpool is the capital of itself and does not look to London, still less to Paris or Brussels. The tragedy here is not Merseyside’s status, but Unesco’s blindness. In recent years, Liverpool has demonstrated exactly the mixture of respect for the past and optimism for the future that all great cities need.

Unesco and a revealing tale of two journalists

Bank Holiday Monday, in case you didn’t know, was also World Press Freedom Day. Unesco understandably marked the occasion. But more interesting than its official communiqué – and a great deal more informative about the way that organisation thinks – was a recent report it sponsored in support of two journalists said to be the subject of attacks on press freedom: Maria Ressa in the Philippines, and, at home, Carole Cadwalladr. The views expressed in that document are worth a closer look. Maria Ressa is a long-standing and courageous thorn in the side of the Philippines’ strongman president Rodrigo Duterte. A man who has said openly that ‘just because you’re a journalist,