1.         Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa (Peru) (C 1016)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2000

Criteria  (i)(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/1016/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 75,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1016/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

Monitoring mission in 1999; ICOMOS expert mission 2000

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Frequent seismic activity in the region and flooding during the rainy season;

b) Demolition of certain houses in the historical centre and the restoration of SanAgustin Church;

c) Material decay and abandonment of buildings.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1016/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The World Heritage Centre received the annual conservation report in January 2007. The report details conservation and protection actions undertaken in different historic buildings by public (National Institute of Culture, Provincial Municipality of Arequipa, Regional Government of Arequipa, National University of San Agustin) in collaboration with private institutions (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation A.E.C.I., Hotel Casa Andina). These projects range from the actual restoration of building to the rehabilitation of infrastructure, including improving vehicle traffic conditions and transit in protected areas such as the San Lazaro neighbourhood, underground cabling for public lightning, inventory of historic buildings, etc.

In addition, other projects are in process, such as the rehabilitation of the Cine Ateneo and the Coliseo Municipal. It is reported that the interiors of these buildings will be readapted for cultural activities. Remodelling is said to be limited to the interiors and not to affect the facades. Other intervention projects are in the process of being approved and will be focused towards the presentation of specific buildings. The report also mentions progress in regards to projects started in 2006 which have been finalised.

As for the Committee’s request to finalise and implement the Disaster Preparedness Plan, the report mentions that the document has a 90% progress and has not been finalised due to recent changes in the Provincial Municipality of Arequipa. The State Party reiterates its commitment to finalise the plan and inform the Committee as soon as this is accomplished in 2007. In spite of not having a formal finalised plan, actions have been undertaken to mitigate potential risks, mainly in the form of emergency interventions. Similarly, new construction has been controlled to a certain extent by developing technical dossiers to grant new licences.

Regarding buildings at possible risk, two of the three have been intervened with emergency actions and have holistic restoration projects. Pending building is in process of being evaluated so a comprehensive proposal can be defined.

Concerning the demolition of historic buildings, there have been approximately 12 incidents in the past ten years and only one occurred in 2007. All of these are in judicial processes to impose sanctions on owners who proceeded with demolitions without the appropriate authorization. To address this issue, the National Institute of Culture has established a technical office to collaborate with the Municipality and the Spanish International Agency for Cooperation in regulating land use so as to conserve the Outstanding Universal Value of Arequipa.

The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS are concerned that only basic information has been provided in relation to the architectural interventions without sufficient graphical information. The State Party did not apply paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention, nor did they submit the Restoration Plans of the Tambo de la Cabezona. Furthermore, Emergency Consolidation Works on the Casa Polar and the conversion of the Casa Andina into a hotel – all signature buildings of the Urban history of the city – have all taken place without consultation.

In spite of the decreasing number of demolitions on the site, one of the more emblematic houses of the Calle San Agustín has been partially demolished. Information supplied by a civil society organization in Arequipa complained about demolitions in the historic area dating from the end of the 1990s. Current control mechanisms seem unsuitable to stop the process.

In spite of the work carried out on the historic fabric of the buildings, some of which are older than four centuries, no archaeological work was referred to in the report provided. Taking into account the archaeological prehispanic wealth of the city, as mentioned in the case of the original Tambos of the area of Calle Puente Portoguesi an archaeological survey should be carried out before any interventions related to the consolidation of building structures or works on gas, water or electricity networks.

It is clear that more frequent monitoring and a larger commitment and participation by civil society are required to mitigate these threats in the long-term. 

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


Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.123

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.       Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.97, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3.       Regrets that the State of Conservation report was not submitted in one of the working languages of the World Heritage Convention;

4.       Urges the State Party to finalise and fully implement the Disaster Preparedness Plan;

5.       Invites the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Committee details of proposed projects affecting historic buildings such as Casa Andina, Tambo de la Cabezona and Casa Polar by 1 October 2007, according to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, for consideration by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS;

6.       Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property, if appropriate, following the assessment of project plans;

7.       Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008, a progress report on the advances made in the implementation of the Disaster Preparedness Plan for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.