UNESCO decided last week not to place Seville's old town on the "danger list," despite concerns about the impact of a 178-meter (584-foot) tower designed by Cesar Pelli. UNESCO had objected to the construction of the EUR300 million (US$368.5 million) project, which will house the headquarters of Cajasol Bank.
When it was originally proposed, UNESCO said the tower would have “an excessive and undoubtedly negative impact,” on the city’s historic district, according to coverage in the Guardian.
But at a meeting last week in Saint Petersburg in Russia on Tuesday, the World Heritage Committee opted not to call for the halt of construction or to sanction Seville. The committee stressed that Seville would only be excused if the city introduces legislation to stop further skyscraper construction, according to the AFP.
Seville's mayor Juan Ignacio Zoido argued at the conference that it would be legally impossible to stop construction and stressed the tower’s "full compatibility" with the town’s World Heritage status, according to media reports.
The Pelli Tower is less than a mile away from the three sites that earned the city its World Heritage status in 1987 – the Seville Cathedral, the Alcazar and Archivo de las Indias.
Thirty of the tower’s 43 stories are now complete.