UNESCO is concerned about building plans around the living quarters of the Swedish royal couple. A 21-kilometer-long highway may be constructed alongside the royal palace of Drottningholm, complete with access and exit roads and parking spaces near the palace.

UNESCO has sent a letter to the Swedish UN ambassador asking for clarification about the building plans around the palace, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. Drottningholm, which means Queen’s Island, is on the UN’s World Heritage List. If the highway is built, the complex will have to give up that status, said a UNESCO advisor.

The construction of the so-called ‘passage canal’ has been estimated at more than 3 billion euros. Construction will take at least eight years. The Swedish road and transport service wants to start this in 2012. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (originally published in Dutch on 18 May 2011)