The State Party report, received on 23 March 2007, provided information regarding projects and actions undertaken by the Romanian National Institute for Historic Monuments and the municipality of the City of Sighisoara since the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee, as follows :
a) Rehabilitation, restoration, construction
Rehabilitation works of the facades of the streets of Bastionului, rue Şcolii, Place de la Citadelle have been completed. During 2006, the Mayor of Sighisoara granted construction permits up to a budget of 3.63 mio Euros (3.0 mio Euros private funding and 0.63 mil. Euros State funding). The feasibility study for the infrastructure works was approved in December 2006 by the National Commission for Historic Monuments, Bucharest. For the years 2007 and 2008 work has been authorized for the public drainage network. Works for the strengthening and restoration of the surrounding wall of the Citadelle on a part located in front of the Town hall were financed with 355,000 Euros (273,500 Euros from the budget of the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Tourism and local administration, and 81,500 Euros from the NGO sector. The work will be completed in three months’ time. The conservation and restoration project of this wall in the eastern part, located north of the Blacksmith Tower, is ongoing. The feasibility study for the development of the public and green areas, as well as the project for the paving of the streets and the public squares, are being elaborated and will be submitted for approval to the National Commission for Historic Monuments, Bucharest, in2007.
The report mentions a trend to reuse dwellings by transforming them into hotels, guest houses, restaurants. The different living areas of these houses are adapted for new functions. Numerous projects for the conservation, restoration and transformation of historic monuments have been elaborated.
c) Protection and management of the site
In accordance with the activity-financing contract signed with UNESCO under the World Heritage Fund on 16 March 2007, the National Institute for Historic Monuments informed the World Heritage Centre that the Protection and Management Plan for the site should be drafted by the departmental and local administration during 2007. Under the same assistance, an updated topographical plan and the summary of the town planning, historic and architectural studies were transmitted to the World Heritage Centre in December 2006.
The Institute plans to elaborate this Plan, and also to organize the inspection of the site (activity included in the work plan of the Institute for 2007), in cooperation with the Departmental Direction for Culture, Cults and National Cultural Heritage.
Currently, the management is ensured under the Development Plan - Agenda 21 - which comprises three parts:
(i) Strategy for sustainable development;
(ii) Local action plan, and
(iii) priority projects. The objectives of this Plan aim at updating the Town Plan for the protected area, a detailed Town Plan for the Lower City, as well as identifying funding sources and deciding upon priorities for intervention.
Furthermore, a Sustainable Development Plan for Tourism has been elaborated by the municipality and the Sighisoara Tourism Association. Also, the Tourism Management Plan should be drafted shortly.
d) Promotional activities
A press conference was organized in Sighisoara to inform the local population about specific and urgent problems for the protection of the World Heritage property of the Historic Centre of Sighisoara.
The Ministry for Culture and Cults took the initiative in 2007 of publishing an album dedicated to the historic monuments of Romania inscribed on the World Heritage List. A chapter of the album will be reserved for the Historic Centre of Sighisoara.
In 2006, the Mayor and the Sighisoara Tourism Association created a Tourist Information Centre. World Heritage property signs have been installed at each entrance to the city.
The World Heritage Centre noted the absence in the State Party report of detailed information on the state of conservation of the property, as well as details relating to completed projects. Based solely on photographic documents received together with the report, the World Heritage Centre noted the following:
(i) the surrounding wall at the entrance to the Evangelical cemetery showed an alarming state of conservation, structural instability and lack of maintenance;
(ii) part of the surrounding wall reposes on unstable ground; the causes and consequences of this landslide are not studied nor taken into account in the report;
(iii) dwellings with stability problems;
(iv) the use of unsuitable building materials not appropriate for restoration work, notably for the surrounding wall of the Citadelle on the eastern side located to the north of the Blacksmith Tower (part of the wall is repaired with concrete);
(v) the replacement of original roofs by roofs of inappropriate materials, as well as the installation of components that did not exist before, considerably transforming the original aspect of the dwellings;
(vi) it is difficult to judge the quality of the new paving by photographs alone ; the signposts should correspond to the standards described in the Operational Guidelines, and notably the World Heritage logo should not be separated from the UNESCO logo.
The World Heritage Centre recalls the need to prepare a detailed report on the state of the property, including a study of the stability of the structures, an evaluation of the mobility of the ground and other information so as to evaluate its conservation. The need to urgently finalise and approve the Protection and Management Plan for the Historic Centre of Sighisoara, including the Technical Manual for Restoration, Rehabilitation and Construction to be used within this World Heritage site, should be emphasized.