UNESCO's World Heritage Committee (WHC) decided on Wednesday to place the cultural landscape of Dresden's Elbe Valley on the List of World Heritage in Danger in a bid to avert plans by the municipality to build a bridge over the Elbe River.
Following closed-door discussions during the WHC's 30th session in the Lithuanian capital, representatives of the meeting decided that plans to build a bridge across the German river would have a serious impact on the integrity of the site.
The WHC also threatened to remove the site from the World Heritage List if the plans were not scrapped.
The committee said it placed the valley on the danger list "with a view to considering, in a prudent manner, delisting the site from the World Heritage List in 2007 if the plans are carried through."
The impact of the development could cause it to lose the credentials it needs to remain on the World Heritage List, it added.
The 18-km Dresden Elbe Valley, included in the World Heritage List in 2004, is an outstanding cultural landscape that integrates a celebrated baroque setting and suburban garden city into an artistic whole within the river valley.
So far, no site has ever been removed from the World Heritage List.
The World Heritage List, created in 1972, contains 812 sites of outstanding value around the world -- 628 cultural, 160 natural and 24 mixed in 137 nations or regions.