Venice ‘not at risk’ after all? UNESCO leaves city off its heritage in danger list

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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 in July that Italy was not doing enough to protect the city from the threat of overtourism, development and climate change.

It had recommended that it be added to its heritage in danger list. However, the vote on Thursday did not pass that recommendation, according to the culture ministry.

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 its mayor Luigi Brugnaro on Thursday.

The city has been in the headlines throughout the year, including when a green blob discolored the Grand Canal, and when there were arrests of badly behaved tourists.

Recently, as part of its strategy to control tourism, the city adopted an entrance fee of €5 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, the World Heritage Committee said Venice still faces major challenges and asked Italy to continue to protect it.

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