COLOGNE, Germany (CNS): Cologne’s gothic cathedral has been placed on UNESCO’s list of endangered World Heritage sites over concerns about a planned high-rise complex.
Plans to construct five high-rise buildings, some as tall as 130 metres, would interfere with the view of the cathedral’s twin 170-metre steeples, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee said in a statement.
“The Cologne Cathedral and its urban landscape are the city’s only outstanding cultural heritage elements to have survived World War II,” said the director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, Francesco Bandarin.
Cologne’s cathedral, constructed in 1248, was added to the World Heritage List in 1996.
Msgr Norbert Feldhoff, who is Vicar-General of Cologne archdiocese, and Barbara Schock-Werner, an architect in charge of preserving the cathedral, said in a joint statement that city officials had not consulted the Church about the planned development until a decision to build had already been made.
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