The Bureau expressed its concern regarding the resumption of hostilities in the region. It requested the World Heritage Centre to advise the Croatian authorities to create, before the next session of the World Heritage Committee, a buffer zone which would ensure the protection of the ancient fortress and other monuments outside the city walls. The Bureau was informed that a plan of action for the restoration of damaged monuments is being prepared in co-operation with the competent authorities in Croatia and that the plan will be made public and available to funding agencies. The Bureau made an appeal to the parties in conflict for a suspension of hostilities and the protection of cultural heritage. It invited all States Parties to the Convention to participate in the conservation of the site.
The Bureau noted that US$ 19,000 had been provided as emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund to assist in restoration efforts and that the Director-General of UNESCO had also allocated US$ 200,000 for preliminary operations for the urgent restoration of monuments. At its last session, the Bureau allocated an additional sum of US$ 30,000 for urgent activities to be undertaken for the restoration of Dubrovnik.
The observations and recommendations of the Bureau were transmitted to the Croatian authorities by letter of 10 September 1992.
The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments has established an inventory of cultural properties damaged during the bombardment in 1991, and in May-June 1992:
- 27 public or religious buildings were damaged to various degrees
- stone-paved streets and squares, city walls, towers and fortresses have been damaged by heavy calibre shells.
Within the framework of a plan to safeguard properties damaged by the war, the first meeting of the Consultative Commission of Experts for Restoration of Dubrovnik was held in the old city from 2-4 September 1992. This Commission comprises 11 national and three international experts, nominated by the Croatian authorities with the agreement of UNESCO. During this meeting, activities to safeguard the heritage were resumed; these activities had been temporarily halted due to the renewed bombardment in May-June 1992. The meeting demonstrated the need for UNESCO to maintain close co-ordination with institutions and commissions dealing with the protection of the city from a technical and a fund-raising point of view. The Commission has defined several actions as priorities for 1992:
- replacement of all the damaged roof tiles
- reconstruction of nine buildings
- training of technicians, craftsmen and stone-cutters
- the publicizing of the plan of action among donors.
The sum of US$ 19,000 provided under the World Heritage Fund has been partly used for the' organization of a meeting of experts. The rest of the US$ 19,000 have been used for training two architects. The special allocation of US$ 200,000 made available by the Director-General of UNESCO is used for the following purposes:
- restoration of city walls
- a cadastral survey of the old city of Dubrovnik, and
- the purchase of 270,000 roofing tiles; these tiles will be delivered by truck to Dubrovnik at the end of November 1992.
The sum of US$ 30,000 provided by the Bureau, at its last session will be used for:
- purchase of equipment and materials for restoration of mural paintings in burnt palaces,
- publicizing the plan of action for restoring Dubrovnik and its monuments among donors, and
- for training programmes .
At its last session the Bureau noted the interest expressed by a travel agency of Dubrovnik and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) to fund work to restore Dubrovnik. Subsequently, a proposal for the restoration of city walls in the old city has been submitted to the consideration of ASTA.
The Bureau's recommendation that the Croatian authorities create a buffer zone which would ensure the protection of the ancient fortress and the surrounding areas has been brought to the attention of the Croatian authorities at several meetings held with them, both in Dubrovnik and in Paris. Information on the implementation of this recommendation of the Bureau is still awaited and will be presented to the Committee at its sixteenth session.
Although the World Heritage Fund and UNESCO have already provided substantial financial and technical assistance, the funds that have become available so far are inadequate; the estimated cost of the restoration of the damaged cultural properties in Dubrovnik is US$ 10 millions.