1.         Gelati Monastery (Georgia) (C 710bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1994

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   2010-2017

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/710/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/710/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission from 8 to 16 November 2003;

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Major reconstruction of the structure of Bagrati Cathedral; general need for interior and exterior conservation work of the monuments; insufficient coordination between the Georgian Church and the national authorities.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/710/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 1 February 2005 which outlined in great detail the current condition of each of the monuments that constitute the World Heritage property. 

No conservation or consolidation works have been carried out over the recent decade for Bagrati Cathedral, and the lack of care has worsened its physical state.  In 2003, the Centre for the Reconstruction of the Architectural Heritage produced the ‘Concept of Scientific Protection of Bagrati Cathedral’ with financial assistance from UNESCO, but there is no Management Plan.  Factors affecting the property include harsh climatic conditions, an ineffective management system, lack of financial subsidies, and interventions by the clergy.  In the context of ‘The Concept of Scientific Protection of Bagrati Cathedral,’ the following studies have been carried out: geological and seismic research; analysis of the physical state of the Cathedral; research into the building materials; bibliographical studies; archaeological research; analysis of the methodology of reconstruction; and the concept of protection.  The structurally unstable parts of the monument have been recorded, as well as the preserved fragments of wall paintings.

With regard to the Gelati Monastery, the report stated thattwo interventions made by the local clergy have affected the appearance of the observatory building and St. Nicolas Church, and that no Management Plan existed.  Factors affecting the property include harsh climatic conditions, an ineffective management system, the lack of financial subsidies, and interventions by the clergy.  In addition, diagnostic research of the wall paintings of the Virgin Mary Church was carried out by the Cultural and Art Fund of Georgia.  This included the study of the archives, the condition of the frescoes, geological research of the area, research of the moisture content, and laboratory research (chemical and biological analysis).  The condition of the basement, the walls, floors, and plaster was analysed.  The condition of the fence needs attention.

The state of conservation report submitted by the State Party made no specific mention of the major reconstruction project for the structure of the Bagrati Cathedral discussed during the previous session of the World Heritage Committee.  The World Heritage Centre is in contact with the State Party to seek clarification. 

This state of conservation report shows that the State Party is well aware of the condition of these two World Heritage properties.  However, no long-term, effective steps have been undertaken by the Georgian conservation services to confront the very serious problems of these monuments.  There are no Management Plans for the Bagrati and Gelati ensembles, and the UNESCO and UNDP-SPPD Heritage and Tourism Master Plan for Mtskheta has not yet been translated into Georgian.  With regard to problems of funding, the State Party should be encouraged actively to undertake initiatives with international donor institutions in order to fulfil the highest priority need for the protection and conservation of the monuments.

Serious problems exist stemming from the current legal framework for monuments in Georgia, and particularly those relating to the ownership and management of religious monuments.  To this is added the lack of strong and effective control of monuments and archaeological properties at all administrative levels.  It is clear, however, that although ownership of ecclesiastical monuments in Georgia is constitutionally vested in the Georgian Orthodox Church, the management of these monuments is the responsibility of the State.  In consequence, the state authorities should accept permanent responsibility for the preservation and protection of religious monuments as well as historical buildings and archaeological properties, and act in a timely manner to prevent any destructive intervention and reconstruction activity. 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7B.75

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.93, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Encourages the State Party of Georgia to take appropriate measures, including seeking of funds, to address conservation issues identified in the state of conservation report;

4. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2007 with an updated report for examination by the Committee at its 31st session (2007).