1.         Kizhi Pogost (Russian Federation) (C 544)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1990

Criteria  (i)(iv)(v)

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/544/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1992-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 38,540
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/544/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

ICOMOS (1992, 1993, 1994); UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission and on-site workshop (August 2002); Russian follow-up workshop (December 2003).

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Structural integrity of the Church of the Transfiguration as well as the overall restoration and conservation project to replace the scaffolding within the Church;

b) Tourism development pressures affecting the property;

c) The need to strengthen management of the property. 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/544/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

The Russian Federation has submitted two reports to the World Heritage Centre concerning the state of the conservation of the World Heritage property dated 12 July 2005 and December 2005 and received on 8 February 2006.

These reports do not meet the expectations of the World Heritage Committee as expressed in its decision at its 29th session. Both reports were prepared by the local management authority (Kizhi Museum) and do not show any involvement on the part of the national authorities in this process. They do not address any of the main recommendations made by the Committee concerning provision of information on the management of the property, updates on the status and determination of the buffer zone, information on risk preparedness measures in place for the entire property, and clarification on the impact of tourism on the values of the inscribed property. While to some extent both reports provide information on aspects of the construction work plan for the Church of the Transfiguration, the precise budget data requested is not provided, and the “Detailed Report” describes information that at the time of the 30th session will be 19 months out of date. The “Brief Report” of December 2005, together with its attached photos and chart showing “main stages of the restoration of the Transfiguration Church and the schedule of their implementation (1999-2014)” provides some updated information but is of limited value as the report is only one page in length.

The response of the State Party to the requests made by the World Heritage Committee at its 29th session is entirely inadequate, maintaining a pattern repeated over many years for this property of providing limited information to the Committee, prepared by the local management authorities without any understanding of the nature of the Committee’s requests. There is no evidence, in spite of the detailed planning and scheduling being carried out for the restoration work on the Church of the Transfiguration at the local level, that the national authorities have committed themselves to fund this work. No detailed budget for this work is available showing budget commitments over time. Nor is there any evidence of effort to address the larger over-arching issues important for the site and stated by the Committee in its recommendations: development of a management plan (which would address boundary issues, buffer zone definition and risk preparedness), and development of a tourism strategy.

A meeting of 100 conservation experts to identify conservation strategies for this property was already organized in 1988, two years before it was inscribed on the World Heritage List. A number of expert missions have taken place since to review the state of conservation of the property. All have highlighted the serious and specific dangers facing the property. Little evidence of commitment at the national level has come forth in those many years to provide confidence that the outstanding universal value recognized by the inscription is maintained.

ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre consider that the property should be placed on the World Heritage List in Danger, and that the property should not be removed from this List until the following benchmarks are agreed upon and reached:

a) Completion of restoration work on the Church of the Transfiguration;

b) The development and implementation of a comprehensive management plan for the property (addressing tourism development, risk preparedness, boundary definition and buffer zone issues).

The State Party should provide, by 1 February 2007, the outline plans and a timescale for the development of a comprehensive management plan and strategy, to provide a clear description of the restoration concept guiding the works on the Church of the Transfiguration, and a detailed long term (10 year) budget commitment for all activities on the site, prepared and endorsed by the concerned national authorities and the Ministry of Culture. Detailed benchmarks could then be agreed upon between the Advisory Bodies, the World Heritage Centre and the authorities.

An additional brief report with an explanatory note on the most important activities of the preparatory period and some updated information by the Kizhi Federal Museum was transmitted by the national authorities on 8 June 2006.

The report mentioned new information concerning, in particular the assembly and adjustment of the fire alarm system inside and outside of the Church, as well as the replacement of the old electric supply cabinet and installation of a new power supply, communication and alarm systems.

Some information concerning new restoration approaches and preparation of timber conservation was also provided. The report mentioned in particular, that the main cross has been reinforced temporally with metallic plates and that the zones infected by wood beetles have been identified. The entrance of the Church has been repaired and a metallic tie-bar installed in the northern wall of the refectory.

An attached chart showing the “main stages of the restoration of the Transfiguration Church and the schedule of their implementation (1999-2014)” is the same as provided in the previous reports. The report further notes that the annual monitoring of the stability of the property conducted by the Institute “Spetsproectrestavratsiya” shows continued stability of all monuments and indicates that none of then is considered to be in danger.

By letter of 9 June 2006, the authorities of the Russian Federation underline that they consider that the State Party is fulfilling its obligations concerning the protection of the property and object to the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

However, the latest report provides no information concerning the detailed budget and funding sources, the overall state of conservation of the property, nor details of management measures for the property or the determination of the buffer zone, as requested by the Committee. As a result, the requests for information made by the Committee at its 29th session in Durban remain unanswered.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7B.72

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decisions 28 COM 15B.95 and 29 COM 7B.83, adopted at its 28th (Suzhou, 2004) and 29th (Durban, 2005) sessions respectively,

3. Notes with great concern that the reports provided by the State Party do not respond to the requests made by the Committee at its 29th session;

4. Urges the State Party to collaborate closely with the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre to elaborate detailed benchmarks (completion of restoration work on the Church of the Transfiguration; and the development and implementation of a comprehensive management plan for the property, which addresses tourism development, risk preparedness, boundary definition and buffer zone issues);

5. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission to the property to assess the state of conservation and the factors affecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and strongly urges the State Party to work jointly with this mission;

6. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2007, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session in 2007, with a detailed report, a timescale and a work plan for:

a) A comprehensive management plan, including a tourism strategy, risk preparedness measures and clear boundary and buffer zone definitions;

b) The preparation of a buffer zone for the property;

7. Invites the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2007 an overall restoration concept for the Church of Transfiguration, as well as a report on the status and the likely impact of proposed interventions on the authenticity and integrity of the property.