1.         Vilnius Historic Centre (Lithuania) (C 541bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1994

Criteria  (ii)(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/541/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1995-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 138,180
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/541/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO missions 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000;

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/541/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The World Heritage Centre has received letters from Lithuania citizens calling attention to a ‘Detailed Plan’ for Vilnius, which if approved, will have a serious impact on the Old City of Vilnius.  Some of the issues raised are destruction of green spaces, development of high-rise buildings and changes to the historic character of houses. 

The World Heritage Centre arranged a meeting with the Permanent Delegation of Lithuania and ICOMOS on 22 April 2005 to discuss these issues.  The Permanent Delegation explained that, in response to the preparation of the ‘Detailed Plan’ for Vilnius, Lithuania invited three independent teams of experts to review the plan.  According to the recommendations of these experts, this plan is being revised taking into account the importance of Vilnius and respecting its World Heritage status.  Furthermore, on 20 April 2005, a new Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage has entered into force, ensuring further protection to the cultural heritage of Lithuania. 

A number of high-rise buildings have however already been constructed opposite the Old Town of Vilnius, outside the buffer zone.  Attention has also been drawn to the wooden heritage in the construction areas where a number of historic wooden buildings are being demolished.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7B.79

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Noting with concern the information provided concerning the project for the construction of high-rise buildings located in the vicinity of the Old Town of Vilnius which will have a considerable visual impact on the property,

3. Regrets the demolition of the wooden heritage located in these construction areas which although not part of the World Heritage designated area, nevertheless form part of the cultural heritage of Vilnius,

4. Strongly urges the State Party of Lithuania to revise these projects to ensure the maintenance of the outstanding universal value and the integrity of the World Heritage property and reminds the State Party of its commitment to the implementation of the Convention,

5. Requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2006 adetailed report on the development projects, the overall town planning and administrative provisions in place to ensure the adequate preservation of the property for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).