1.         Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches (Spain) (C 348bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (iii)(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/348/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/348/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/348/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

On 1 February 2004, the World Heritage Centre received a report from the State Party, in which it is stressed that all local legal requirements have been followed in order to carry out the project for the refurbishment of the square, the demolition of buildings and their replacement by new ones. It also gives a justification for each of the interventions made, and underlines that the monumental value of the square has been preserved.

 

According to the report, the original project was submitted in 1993, and revised several times until its final adoption in 2000. In 1996 the local regulations on urban planning and on heritage protection (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana and Plan Especial de Protección del Conjunto Histórico-Artístico) were revised in order to allow the refurbishment and construction project on the Square of Santa Teresa. The report specifies that this project had been categorised as of “singular interest”, which means that the regulations in the law concerning the aesthetic criteria established for the whole protected monumental area and the requirements concerning the type of construction materials to be used do not apply.

 

ICOMOS stressed that the biggest new building seems to invade the square and is too high. When considering the volumes of this new building, the design of its facade and the materials used, it seems that the outstanding universal value of the World Heritage property were not taken into due account.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.97

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Takes note with appreciation of the recent report submitted by the State Party on the current state of conservation of the property (Decision 27 COM 7B.78);

2. Recalls that the Plaza de Santa Teresa was included in the original nomination as a main square linking the city walls and the extra-muros church of St Pedro;

3. Further recalls that the State Party did not inform the World Heritage Centre on time on the construction plans in order to allow an early assessment on the way these plans would eventually affect the universal value of the property;

4. Notes that the project to refurbish the square and demolish the existing buildings was labeled as a “singular project” under the existing law of heritage protection. The respect of the aesthetic criteria established for the whole protected monumental area and of the requirements concerning the type of construction materials to be used is not compulsory under this law ;

5. Regrets that this kind of “singular project” affecting a World Heritage property can be adopted without informing the World Heritage Centre and without taking into account the outstanding universal value of the property;

6. Urges the State Party to elaborate an integrated management plan for the World Heritage property as a whole, which should be developed and endorsed by a wide range of stakeholders;

7. Requests that World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS undertake a mission, in cooperation with the State Party, to assess the way the refurbishment of the square and the new construction may affect the universal value of the World Heritage property and further requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2005 a report on the state of conservation of the property in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 29th session in 2005.