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UNESCO declines to add Venice to heritage danger list

The Italian city of Venice and its lagoon were not listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage in Danger list during a meeting of the UN agency in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, according to Italy’s culture ministry.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee had warned earlier in July that Italy was not doing enough to protect the city from the threat of overtourism, development and climate change. It recommended that it be added to its heritage danger list.

The Italian culture ministry welcomed the outcome of the UNESCO vote in Saudi Arabia, describing the attempt to register the city on the list as “purely political.”

“Great Victory at UNESCO … Venice is not at risk,” tweeted Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro on Thursday on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Struggles in Venice

The city of Venice has made international headlines in recent years, including when a green blob discolored the Grand Canal and when a number of tourists were arrested for bad behavior.

As part of its strategy to control tourism, the city of Venice recently adopted an entrance fee of €5 (about $5.35 US) for day-trippers starting next spring. The fee will apply to those who are not in rental properties or hotels and will start as a 30-day experiment.

After the decision not to list the city on its “in danger” list, the World Heritage Committee noted that the site still faces major challenges and asked Italy to continue to protect the site.

The World Heritage Committee is expected to start discussions on Saturday about which sites to add to its renowned World Heritage List. Venice was added to that list in 1987.

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