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

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Structural integrity and stability of the Church of the Transfiguration; long-term restoration and conservation projects; deformation of wooden structures.

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The Russian authorities submitted a report on an international workshop for the Conservation of the “Church of the Transfiguration of Kizhi Pogost” (18-20 December, 2003) to the World Heritage Centre on 2 February 2005.

The report reviews the main recommendations of the August 2002 International Workshop: A planned approach to restoration of the Church over four main stages up to 2014 is briefly described.  The stages include: (1) preliminary works (1999-2002); preparation period (2002-2006); main restoration works (2006-2012); final period (2010 – 2014); (2) The report describes expenditures in 2003  and 2004 in line with the overall plan of expenditures; (3) The report further notes submission by the Administration of "Kizhi Pogost" of a financial plan for conservation and restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration until 2010 to the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, which was approved; (4) The representatives of "Kizhi Pogost" also noted that funding has been neither sufficient nor regular;  (5) The report notes that participants expressed appreciation for the high quality of the design and restoration works carried out from July 2002 until December 2003 by the project leaders and site managers of the museum-reserve;

Nevertheless, the report leaves a number of questions open for review.

While the World Heritage Committee, in its Decision 28 COM 15 B.  95, calls for the “Russian Federation to collaborate closely with the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre regarding the developments of the conservation works”, the international workshop of December 2003 was organised without the involvement of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.  Hence, it is difficult to compare the conclusions of the 2003 Workshop with those resulting from the 2002 Workshop, and assess progress made in meeting earlier recommendations.

Given the serious nature of the structural problems of the Church of the Transfiguration, and the decade ahead before planned works are to be completed, it would be useful to have detailed information concerning monitoring methods in place to measure any change in the structure.

The work plan contained in the report does not provide sufficient information or details to secure the large amount of funding necessary.  Given that funding is described as inadequate and irregular, it would be useful for the Russian authorities to describe the full amount of funds required, the nature of commitments of all concerned to support the work, any expected shortfalls, and fund-raising plans to cover outstanding commitments.

The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS appreciate the continuing efforts by the State Party to improve the state of conservation of the Church of the Transfiguration.  However, the State Party needs to look beyond the problems of the Church of the Transfiguration to the management problems of the overall property, as recommended by the 2002 Workshop.  It would be particularly useful for the Russian authorities to clarify current efforts to strengthen the management regime for the island property, including:  clarification of the boundaries and management strategies and the buffer zones of the property; clarification of risk preparedness measures in place for the entire property; clarification of tourism management in the region in relation to the values of the inscribed property.

Given the management needs of the property, it would also be useful for the Russian authorities to give priority to printing the Russian translation of the ICCROM Management Guidelines for World Heritage Properties.  As has been noted by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS on several occasions, and as contained in the recommendations of the 2002 International Workshop, the author/ translator and the Advisory Bodies and World Heritage Centre have already contributed substantially to the development of this manuscript.  The Russian authorities should complete this long outstanding project.  The situation of Kizhi Pogost was further discussed at a meeting at the World Heritage Centre with the Permanent Delegation of Russia and the Chairperson of the Russian World Heritage Committee on 25 April 2005.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7B.83

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.95, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Thanks the State Party of the Russian Federation for the progress report on the organisation of the restoration works of the Church of the Transfiguration and the continuing efforts to improve the state of conservation of the property,

4. Regrets that the State Party did not provide a detailed report, as requested by the World Heritage Committee, on the progress of the actual conservation works, detailed budget and funding sources as well as the overall state of conservation of the property;

5. Notes with concern the continuing uncertainty of funding for the restoration works and the overall inconsistent information on the management of the property;

6. Urges the State Party to collaborate closely with the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre regarding the development of the conservation works and the management of the property;

7. Considers that in view of the lack of information on the state of conservation of the property and lack of follow-up to the recommendation of the 2002 Workshop and the recommendation of the Committee, the threats to the property are considerable;

8. Requests the State Party to submit reports by 1 February 2006 to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), containing the following:

a) a detailed work plan with precise budget;

b) a comprehensive report on the steps of the conservation works including information on the impact of interventions on the conservation works;

c) information on the management measures for the property;

d) an update on the status and determination of the buffer zone;

e) information on risk preparedness measures in place for the entire property; and

f) clarification on the management of tourism in the region in relation to the values of the inscribed property;

9. Decides to consider, on the basis of this report, whether or not the property should be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.