Decision : CONF 001 VIII.2
Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
ICOMOS reported on the extremely negative visual impact of a new sports hall built on the western slope of the hill that is crowned by the Cathedral and that affects in particular the view of the Cathedral from the Alameda.
The Representative of ICOMOS informed the Bureau that only a few days ago, agreement had been reached between the local and the regional authorities to lower the already constructed building by 1.5 meters and to apply materials more suitable to the surroundings. Several delegates emphasized that Operational Guideline 47 invites the States Parties to inform the Committee of their intention to undertake or to authorize in an area protected under the Convention, major restoration or new constructions which may affect the world heritage value of the property. The Bureau expressed its disappointment that this was not done in the case of Santiago and that the already inscribed World Heritage site of Santiago is being affected by an extremely disharmonious construction at the same time as the Route of Santiago is being nominated for inscription.
One delegate pointed out that action could be taken only after reports had been received on the construction already in progress and that this case dearly shows the need of a continuous monitoring process involving local communities and organizations. The Bureau concludes that its concerns about the construction will be communicated to the Spanish national and regional authorities emphasizing the need for consultations with the Committee in the case of important interventions at World Heritage sites.