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Committee Decisions

28 COM 14B.41

Nominations of Cultural Properties to the World Heritage List (Þingvellir National Park)

The World Heritage Committee,


1. Noting that this property is the first to be inscribed on the World Heritage List from Iceland,


2. Inscribes Þingvellir National Park, Iceland, on the World Heritage List as a cultural landscape on the basis of cultural criteria (iii) and (vi):


Criterion (iii): The Althing and its hinterland, the Þingvellir National Park,represent, through the remains of the assembly ground, the booths for those who attended, and through landscape evidence of settlement extending back possibly to the time the assembly was established, a unique reflection of mediaeval Norse/Germanic culture and one that persisted in essence from its foundation in
980 AD until the 18th century.


Criterion (vi): Pride in the strong association of the Althing to mediaeval Germanic/Norse governance, known through the 12th century Icelandic sagas, and reinforced during the fight for independence in the 19th century, have, together with the powerful natural setting of the assembly grounds, given the site iconic status as a shrine for the national.


3. Congratulates the State Party on the recently drafted management plan, and recommends that the authorities act quickly to give effect to the following programmes:


   a) a comprehensive programme of archaeological research, with emphasis on non-destructive recording,
   b) a programme for the progressive acquisition of holiday houses within the Park and stricter controls over the effluent from those structures bordering Lake Þingvallavatn,
   c) a programme to remove non-indigenous conifers from the entire Park, (except for a small area of memorial planting), replacing them, where appropriate, with native species,
   d) closure of the central car park at Flosagjá, on the eastern side of the Öxará, and
   e) replacement of the steel and concrete bridge over the Öxará River with a lighter construction more in harmony with the landscape;


4. Encourages the State Party to collaborate with other States Parties in the consideration of a serial transboundary extension of important early Nordic Parliamentary sites in northwestern Europe.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
Focal Point: EUR/NA
States Parties: Iceland
Session: 28COM