The World Heritage Committee has decided to retain Dresden Elbe Valley on UNESCO World Heritage List in the hope that the building of a four-lane bridge across the valley will be stopped and work undertaken to reverse damage caused to the integrity of the landscape of the German site.

The Committee said it regretted the construction of the bridge underway and urged the authorities to opt for the digging of a tunnel in its stead. It said that in the event that the construction of the bridge was not stopped and damage reversed, the property would be deleted from the World Heritage List in 2009. Meanwhile the property remains on the Danger List.

Although the Committee decided last year that it would remove the property from the World Heritage List if a bridge were built, it decided to give Dresden more time in view of legal proceedings underway in Germany. The Committee felt that the opposition to the construction of the bridge must be given a chance to succeed and that retaining the property on the list would help that fight.

The 18th- and 19th-century cultural landscape of Dresden Elbe Valley stretches some 18 km along the river from Übigau Palace and Ostragehege fields in the north-west to the Pillnitz Palace and the Elbe River Island in the south-east. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004.

The property, which features low meadows, and is crowned by the Pillnitz Palace and the centre of Dresden with its numerous monuments and parks from the 16th to 20th centuries, was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2006 because of the plan to build a bridge, which has since been started.