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Committee Decisions

30 COM 8B.53

Extension of Properties Inscribed on the World Heritage List (Medieval Monuments in Kosovo)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-06/30.COM/8B and WHC-06/30.COM/INF.8B.1,

2. Approves the extension of the Dečani Monastery to include the Patriarchate of Peć Monastery, Gračanica Monastery and the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša, Serbia, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (ii), (iii) and (iv):

Criterion (ii): The Patriarchate of Peć Monastery, the Gračanica Monastery and the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša played a decisive role in the development of ecclesiastical building and mural painting in the Balkans between the 14th to the 16th centuries, in the discrete Balkan Palaiologian Renaissance architectural style, which reflects a fusion of eastern Orthodox Byzantine with western Romanesque styles.

Criterion (iii): The wall paintings in the three churches are an exceptional testimony to the manifestations of the cultural tradition of the Palaiologian Renaissance of Byzantium in the Balkans. They show the height of the development of Balkan art from the first half of the 14th century in Gračanica and Ljeviša, similar only to the church of the Holy Apostles in Thessaloniki and the Monastery of Protaton at Mount Athos, while the paintings at the churches at Peć, dating from around 1300 until 1673-74, are a powerful demonstration of the emergence of this style and its aftermath.

Criterion (iv): The Patriarchate of Peć Monastery, the Gračanica Monastery and the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša reflect the development of a discrete Palaiologian Renaissance style of architecture and mural decoration in the Balkans in the 14th century, when the combined forces of Church and State were harnessed to create a strong identity for Serbia, in line with its political orientations.

3. Notes the changing of the name of the property which as extended becomes: "Medieval Monuments in Kosovo";

4. Recommends that the State Party put in place stronger protection for the buffer zones;

5. Also recommends that the State Party give consideration to extending the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Peć Monastery to include more of its valley setting;

6. Requests the State Party to give consideration to putting in place appropriate guarding arrangements for the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša;

7. Further requests the State Party to prepare detailed state of conservation reports on the murals, and on underlying problems with their fabric, as acknowledged in their management plans, and in the case of Ljeviša, on the impact of the recent fire on both fabric and murals.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: Serbia
Session: 30COM