In November 2007, UNESCO and the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee regretted the decision of a German court to authorize the construction of a bridge likely to lead to the deletion of the cultural landscape of Dresden Elbe Valley (Germany) from the World Heritage List. The status of the property on UNESCO's World Heritage List will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee at its next meeting in Quebec, Canada, in July 2008.
The mission team of UNESCO and ICOMOS experts will meet with local and national authorities and review current developments at the Dresden Elbe Valley assessing specifically the impact of the construction of the bridge on the Outstanding Universal Value of the site. This mission, scheduled for February 4-5, is being carried out under the reinforced monitoring mechanism applied for the first time in 2007 to Jerusalem, sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Dresden. On the basis of the mission's findings, as well as the review of additional documents and a report to the World Heritage Committee, the Committee will take a decision on whether or not the property should be deleted from the World Heritage List.
UNESCO had highlighted in its previous statement that "Removing properties from the World Heritage List is never a satisfactory solution as UNESCO's World Heritage Convention and World Heritage List have been created to ensure the preservation and enhancement of our shared heritage. UNESCO and the World Heritage Committee consider their role in this regard to consist of enriching the world's treasured heritage, not impoverishing it."
It is hoped that the mission's visit enhances further the continuous dialogue with local and national authorities to find a solution to avoid the removal of the exceptional site from the World Heritage List.