1.         Complex of Hué Monuments (Viet Nam) (C 678)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

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/678/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 273,706
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/678/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

A monitoring mission by an international expert (8-18 November 2003)

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Development of road infrastructure in and around the World Heritage property; Urban development pressure.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/678/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

A fifteen-page report from the Director of the Hué Monuments Conservation Centre, with a number of annexes, maps, and photographs, was submitted to the World Heritage Centre by the State Party on 1 February 2005.  In response to the concern expressed by the Committee regarding the development of a road infrastructure around the Citadel, the report stresses the positive socio-economic impacts of the roads projects for the local communities.  The south-west ring road was designed to mitigate traffic within the Citadel, while ensuring an essential line of communication between the south and the north of the City at the time of major floods. This will enable the rescuing of inhabitants as well as the provision of emergency assistance to protect the heritage properties during such natural disasters.  As far as the Tuan Bridge is concerned, the State Party considered as many as twenty proposals before launching the construction, taking into account geological, functional and aesthetic criteria.  It should be also recalled that no other bridge exists within a distance of twenty kilometres.  Other minor road and infrastructure improvements did not affect the heritage significance of the property due to their distance from the monuments (e.g.  a road 200 meters from the Minh Mang’s Tomb), but were important to ensure the link between the City of Hue with certain districts, such as A Luoi, where some minorities resided.

The State Party, however, recognized the need to take measures to mitigate the possible negative impacts of new road constructions, and has agreed to implement immediately the following actions:

a)  Enforcement of the regulations prohibiting residential or industrial settlements within 200 meters from the National Highway, to avoid encroachment along the road;

b)  A detailed plan for the Tuan Bridge/Minh Mang area will be developed and implemented by the Provincial Department of Construction, taking into close consideration the recommendations of previous UNESCO missions;

c)  A proposal for extending the protected buffer zone of the Hue Citadel has been prepared and submitted to the Ministry of Culture and Information for approval.  Subsequently, similar proposals will be prepared for extending the buffer zones of other listed monuments within the World Heritage property.

The report also addresses the problem of illegal constructions or renovations within the Citadel.  Indeed, following the disastrous flood of 1999, some houses did not comply with the building regulations established by the authorities to control changes and ensure the conservation of the traditional character of the urban stock.  The local authorities ordered to conduct an inventory of illegal constructions and to develop an enforcement plan to demolish or modify those illegal constructions in accordance with the regulated height and architectural style. Some 700 illegal buildings would need to be removed along the wall of the Citadel.  In addition, advisory support will be provided in the future to owners willing to rehabilitate their house.

On the other hand, the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO informed the World Heritage Centre, by letter dated 5 January 2005, of its intention to extend the World Heritage property by including three additional monuments which are not included in the original nomination: An Dinh Residence (Last Queen Mother’s residence), Memorial House of Queen Mother Tu Cung and Van Van Tomb (Last Great Queen Mother’s tomb). 

The State Party should be commended for the efforts made in reconciling legitimate development needs with the requirements of conservation within the World Heritage property, especially taking into account the great pressure exerted by the socio-economic development of the country and the recent natural disasters that have hit the region of Hué.  However, two major issues raised by the Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004), are not really addressed in the report.  These are the creation of an inventory of traditional urban buildings to be conserved and the elaboration of an overall Management Plan for the property.  These two issues, related to each other, should urgently be considered by the State Party with a view to ensuring the long-term protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.  The present piecemeal approach of dealing with single problems and areas, in fact, does not provide sufficient assurances for the conservation of the heritage significance of the property. 

ICOMOS considers as well that the elaboration of a complete inventory of the cultural heritage and of a comprehensive Management Plan would be also essential preparatory steps for a possible re-nomination of the property, taking into account the unique landscape value of the environment of Hué.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7B.58

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7B.Rev,

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.61 adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Having taken note of the socio-economic reasons that justified the upgrading of the road infrastructure around the Citadel of Hué,

4. Congratulates the State Party of Vietnam for its efforts to mitigate the negative impact of these roads on the heritage values of the property and to deal with the serious issue of the illegal constructions encroaching upon the property;

5. Notes, on the other hand, the intention expressed by the Vietnamese authorities to extend the World Heritage property to include certain monuments such as the An Dinh Residence (Last Queen Mother's residence), Memorial House of Queen Mother Tu Cung and Van Van Tomb (Last Great Queen Mother's tomb);

6. Requests the State Party to:

a) follow-up and implement as soon as possible the actions envisaged for the demolition or modification of the illegal buildings constructed within the World Heritage property;

b) proceed to the compilation of a complete inventory of the traditional urban buildings of Hué;

c) elaborate, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, a comprehensive management plan for the property, built upon its outstanding universal value and in line with the principles set out in the Operational Guidelines (2005) (paragraphs 96-119). This management plan should concern all monuments and landscape areas considered as having a significant heritage value associated to Hué and which are currently not included in the property inscribed on the World Heritage List, in view of a possible re-nomination of the property;

7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2006, a progress report on the implementation of the above recommendations for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).