1.         Megalithic Temples of Malta (Malta) (C 132ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1980

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/132/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 74,073
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/132/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO mission 1994; ICOMOS mission 2001; 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Vandalism;

b) Proposal for interim landfills for domestic waste near the Temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra in Qrendi;

c) Illegal construction of houses close to the Grantija Temple;

d) International competition for a Ħagar Qim and Mnajdra Heritage Park.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/132/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

A detailed updated report was sent to the World Heritage Centre on 7 March 2007. This report indicates:

a) The following actions have been undertaken towards the development of a management plan of the World Heritage property: drafting of the description of Megalithic Temples and of the Statement of Significance, High-resolution 3-D documentation of Ggantija, Ħagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples, first stakeholder and public consultations meetings for the Management Plan preparations. The characteristics of the six megalithic sites vary considerably in extent, state of conservation, landscape setting, management context and treatment; therefore a strategy is being developed to integrate this diversity into a single management plan;

b) The Management Plan will also be complemented by a conservation plan, for which the following actions have been undertaken: creation of a scientific committee to advise on conservation methods for the Megalithic Temples, a condition assessment, drawing up of method statements for required conservation interventions, and implementation of most urgent conservation interventions;

c) On the Ħagar Qim and Mnajdra Conservation and Presentation Project, the following updates were submitted: one year of continuous and intensive monitoring of the environmental conditions at Ħagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples was completed with European Union Pre-Accession Funds. This monitoring allows for detailed assessment of the performance of the protective shelters when these can be installed over the sites, and for a quantification of the improvement of environmental conditions. In May 2006, an ICCROM expert visited the property, in connection with the protective shelters and the associated environmental monitoring, and advised on measures and fine-tuning of the monitoring programme. Work on the construction of the protective shelters is expected to begin during the second half of 2007;

d) Concerning the Tarxien Temples Project, activities have been successfully launched, including an environmental monitoring programme, conservation actions at two megaliths bearing prehistoric graffiti, archaeological investigations of a site that may be used for a new visitor centre, design of a visitor centre that will provide interpretation, education, sanitary and catering facilities for visitors, and design of a 100% reversible walkway system that will facilitate access to the site and link it to the proposed visitor centre. It is anticipated that work on the construction of the visitor centre will commence before the end of 2007;

e) Regarding the Ggantija Project, it was noted that if Structural Funds by the European Commission are confirmed, they would be used for key conservation and interpretation measures, including the creation of a discreet visitor centre on the edge of the archaeological park around the Ggantija Temples. Secured funding is currently being used to finance improved walkways and interpretation facilities that will help reduce the impact of visitors on the site;

f) Concerning illegal development close to the Ggantija Temples on Gozo, an exhaustive list of infringements and corrective actions was provided.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.115

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.80, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3.       Commends the State Party for the continuing efforts to improve the state of conservation of the Megalithic Temples, and in particular in enhancing monitoring activities, conservation actions at the sites, and advances made for adequate visitor facilities, and asks that actions to address illegal construction be continued and enforced;

4.       Requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre with detailed designs and drawings of the visitor centres, protective shelters, as well as of walkways, before the implementation of any of these projects;

5.       Urges the State Party to finalise the Management Plan in accordance with Decision 29 COM 7B.80 paragraph 4, and also requests the State Party to submit three copies of the plan by 1 February 2008 to the World Heritage Centre.