Sumary of Venice avoids designation as UNESCO heritage site in danger:
- MILAN (AP) — Venice and its lagoon environment avoided placement on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites in danger Thursday following Italy’s ban on massive cruise ships traveling through the city’s historic center.
- Preservation groups immediately criticized the decision by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.
- Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini welcomed UNESCO’s decision and credited the government’s recent move to ban ships over 25,000 tons from Venice waterways facing St.
- But non-governmental groups acting as observers to the process said the cruise ship ban only addressed one of many issues threatening Venice, which include over-tourism, the management of cultural and natural resources, and controlling urban development.
- The groups also said the temporary decision to moor cruise ships in the industrial port of Marghera still endangers the lagoon and that no long-term plans have been made yet to manage ships and tourism in the city.
- UNESCO’s World Heritage Center recommended last month adding Venice to the endangered list as a way to alert the international community to the urgency of the city’s situation.