UNESCO Officials Enjoy Mini-Break in Edinburgh.

Posted on November 18, 2008


UNESCO officials spent the better part of last week in Edinburgh investigating concerns over major development in the city. The city’s World Heritage Status, held since 1995, has been threatened by recently proposed developments. (See earlier post To Develop or Not to Develop? That is the question in Edinburgh) Officials seemed under-impressed by the cries of the preservation enthusiasts (see earlier post Fear-peddling, Sabre-rattling, and Champions of Stagnation in Edinburgh), and rightly so it would seem, as the city’s World Heritage Status has been deemed safe. The official report won’t come out until June, but Dr. Mechtild Rossner has stated, “[W]e will not be recommending that Edinburgh loses its World Heritage status.”  Score one for Edinburgh.

UNESCO officials explained it wasn’t preferable to tear down historic buildings in order to develop hotels and conference centers, but that in this case the situation was “exceptional.”  We’ll look for the June report for more details as to the development’s exceptional qualities.

Two vague, rhetorical articles on the results of the UNESCO visit:

Heritage Status ‘Should Remain’ on the BBC.

Edinburgh’s Unesco Status Safe on the Scotsman.

[UPDATE: The Scotman printed another article titled, “Unesco slams city’s handling of Caltongate.”  The quotes used are largely the same as those in the other articles.  The first poster on the new article rightly comments, “It would be very nice if the media could stick to one version of this story, or the other.”]

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