UNESCO Proposes Putting Stonehenge on 'In Danger' List

UNESCO Proposes Putting Stonehenge on 'In Danger' List
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The Facts

  • The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recommended adding Stonehenge, the landmark Neolithic site in southwest England, to its list of World Heritage sites that are in danger because of plans to dig a road tunnel near the ancient monument.

  • Last July, the UK government approved the £1.7B ($2.2B) construction of a road tunnel close to the standing stones of Stonehenge — built between 3K and 2.3K B.C. — to ease traffic congestion on the road to southwest England.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

UNESCO isn't against the plan to decongest a crucial main road, but it wants the UK government to stop committing a disgraceful act of vandalism and change the plan to include a longer tunnel — one which wouldn't compromise the integrity of the Stonehenge standing stones. The UK is obligated to protect Stonehenge, so it must seize the opportunity to reverse its ludicrously expensive plan.

Pro-establishment narrative

The tunnel would improve the landscape by eliminating the sight and sound of traffic passing the sacred site on the single-carriageway stretch, and also restore Stonehenge's ancient landscape by giving its stones the setting they deserve. It's disappointing that UNESCO is threatening to strip Stonehenge's status over a plan that will actually deliver a lasting, positive legacy for the monument.

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