State of Conservation (SOC)
Vatican City (1992)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:0USD
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
The Bureau was concerned by the construction project inside the Vatican City of a concrete building of several floors in the place of the old Hospice of Santa Marta, the demolition of which was undertaken on 1 June 1992.
The breach in the Leonin Wall that appeared during this work constitutes a danger to the integrity of this fortified ensemble. Moreover, because of its co-visibility with the dome of Saint-Pierre, the height of the planned building would cause irreparable damage to the urban landscape of Rome, as well as to the Vatican City.
The concern and recommendations expressed by the Bureau were transmitted to the UNESCO Observer of the Holy See by letter of 9 September 1992. The Secretary the State of the Holy See, in his note of 20 October 1992, has made the following points concerning the Bureau's observations and recommendations:
- No breach has appeared in the Leonin Wall. On the contrary, the destruction of a part of the Old Hospice of Santa Marta has revealed the older parts of the Leonin Wall. These parts will be restored.
- The new building will not be taller than the two edifices surrounding it: the Palace of San Carlo and the more ancient parts of the Hospice of Santa Maria.
- The new construction project was elaborated taking into account the aesthetic and monumental context, into which it will be integrated.
- The visibility of the Dome of Saint Pierre will not be affected in any manner, the more so since the new building will not be visible from the outside.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
Vatican (Holy See)
The Committee was informed of the various actions undertaken by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS in collaboration with the Holy See authorities following a certain number of protests concerning a new building on the site of the Hospice of Santa Marta.
The Director of the World Heritage Centre as well as ICOMOS were able to ascertain at the site that the allegations reported mainly by the press were groundless. They commended the spirit of co-operation with which this problem had been approached by the authorities of the Vatican. One delegate congratulated ICOMOS on the quality of his report and raised a point regarding the use of appropriate terminology by the Secretariat in presenting questions to the Bureau or the Committee. The Representative from the Holy See then took the floor to express his satisfaction with the way in which this matter was settled and read a statement which was annexed to the report.
No draft Decision
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Detailed List of SOC reports
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).