1.         Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands (Russian Federation) (C 632)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1992

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/632/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/632/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/632/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

The State Party did not submit a state of conservation report as requested by the World Heritage Committee. In a letter dated 9 April 2012, the President of the Russian World Heritage Committee within the National Commission for UNESCO explained that the delay of the report and the implementation of the Retrospective Inventory for some World Heritage properties in the Russian Federation, which were transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, is due to organizational management issues concerning the interaction between the State authorities and the Russian Orthodox Church. He further indicated that the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation is currently engaged in finding an appropriate solution and as soon as the solution is found, the State Party will submit the necessary documents to the World Heritage Centre. No further information was provided by the State Party. 

According to information available on the website of the Russian Orthodox Church, the issue regarding cultural heritage of religious interest in the Russian Federation was discussed on 22 February 2012 during a special Board on Culture. Also, according to information available on the website of the Solovetsky monastery, on 23 March 2012 the Governor of the region of Arkhangelsk visited the monastery together with the newly appointed Vice-Governor of the Arkhangelsk region in charge of the development of the Archipelago of Solovetsky and with other high-level state representatives. According to this information, during the visit, the delegation discussed the approved Master Plan of the Solovetsky monastery with all concerned stakeholders, including the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church. The information also highlights that the development strategy of the Archipelago of Solovetsky was discussed in detail and appropriate measures regarding revitalisation of the cultural monuments have been identified.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies have informed the State Party that the joint reactive monitoring mission, requested by the Committee, could be carried out in July 2012. At the time of the preparation of the report, the State Party had not provided feedback concerning the dates of the mission. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note, from the available information, that some measures towards the revitalisation of the Solovetsky monastery and the development of the Archipelago of Solovetsky are developed by the local authorities in coordination with the Russian Orthodox Church. It also appears that a Master Plan for the Solovetsky monastery was approved. Since this information has not been communicated by the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend to the Committee to request the State Party to provide relevant details concerning the Master Plan and the revitalisation projects.

They recommend that the Committee reiterate its concern regarding planned reconstruction of the monastery buildings mentioned by the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate during the Kyiv Seminar in November 2010. They consider that all project proposals should be accompanied by detailed heritage impact assessments, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties and submitted to the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, for reviewand comments prior to their approval.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend that the Committee reiterate all requests included in the decision taken at the 35th session of the Committee (UNESCO, 2011), considering that no information has been provided by the State Party regarding those requests. 

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7B.86

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.107 adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Regrets that the State Party did not submit a state of conservation report and has not otherwise provided information on the implementation of its decision;

4.   Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre detailed information concerning the Master Plan of the Solovetsky Monastery and any other planning documents prior to the mission;

5.   Reiterates its concern about the possible reconstruction of the monastery buildings and other major interventions in the landscape of the property, in terms of impact on its Outstanding Universal Value, and also requests the State Party to provide detailed information to the World Heritage Centre prior to the mission;

6.   Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre all project proposals that may threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, as well as to accompany all new proposals by Heritage impact assessments, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties;

7.   Also reiterates its concern about the apparent lack of monitoring mechanisms and adequate management structures and urges the State Party to develop and implement appropriate legal measures and rules for conservation, restoration and management and use of religious World Heritage properties, as well as to develop a joint management system by establishing a special board including all stakeholders, as well as representatives of the Patriarchate of Moscow and All-Russia;

8.   Also reiterates its request to the State Party and the Moscow Patriarchate to organise a special training workshop, in close coordination with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, for the religious representatives involved in the management and use of the World Heritage properties in the Russian Federation;

9.   Further reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission to the property to:

a)  Review the existing management system and decision-making mechanisms,

b)  Assess the overall state of conservation of the property;

10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.