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Dresdeners do not care about UNESCO title

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Dresdeners do not care about UNESCO title
Photo: DPA
10:49 CEST+02:00
More than half of the people in Dresden do not care if their city loses its UNESCO world cultural heritage title, as a decision is due next week on whether to strip the city of the title for building a bridge over the Elbe River.

A survey conducted by the Institute for Market Research in Leipzig for the regional paper Sächsische Zeiutung showed that although 57 percent said they could do without the title, 44 percent were critical of those responsible for the lack of effort put into saving it.

Younger Dresdeners cared less than their older counterparts about the title, with 61 percent of those between 30 and 49 saying the city did not need it.

The United Nations cultural committee, UNESCO, will meet on Friday to decide on whether the construction of the bridge over the Elbe destroys the cityscape to such a degree that Dresden will no longer be considered a piece of world cultural heritage. It is largely expected that this will be the case.

More optimistic are the workers at the Wattenmeer National Park in Wilhelmshaven, who hope their park will be ranked as world natural heritage. It has applied for a region stretching from Holland to Denmark to be given the title, which often attracts funding, but also imposes a number of preservation duties.

“This is the biggest mudflat in the world,” said Peter Südbeck, head of the national park administration. “Geological processes are taking place before our very eyes. The fauna and flora of the salt meadows can be found nowhere else in the world.”

UNESCO criteria for natural heritage status include geology, ecological processes and species diversity. Südbeck said he was very optimistic that the mudflats would get the title, which would put them on a level with the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef.

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