1.         Royal Palaces of Abomey (Benin) (C 323bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1985-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/323/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1985-1994)
Total amount approved: USD 73,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/323/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

April 1985: UNESCO mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Storm in 1984 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/323/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1994

In 1992, ICCROM and the Directorate of Cultural Heritage organized in the framework of the 1990-2000 PREMA Programme and UNESCO's World Decade for Cultural Development, a national training course on preventive conservation involving professionals from museums of Benin and Togo.

Following this course, Benin and ICCROM agreed to launch a follow-up project for the conservation and enhancement of the Royal Palaces of Abomey inscribed on the World Heritage List. This ensemble is composed of 13 palaces, two of which house the museum collections. Eleven palaces are in a dilapidated state. Through the PREMA and GAIA Programmes, Benin and ICCROM have decided to organize Phase II of this project from August 1994 to August 1996.

Amongst the objectives, the following should be noted:

a)  the establishment of basic documentation at the Abomey Palace on the architecture and construction techniques of the palaces and on the collections of the Kings of Abomey;

b)  training for: two architects in charge of the site, a team of craftsmen in charge of the regular maintenance of the structure, and two conservator technicians for exhibits.

US$ 240,000 have been made available to ICCROM by the Government of Italy through UNESCO for this project.

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

It is recommended that this site be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee may wish to request the Secretariat to ensure that a monitoring mission be undertaken to Abomey to evaluate the state of conservation of the eleven palaces that have not yet been subject to restoration and to report on it at the nineteenth session of the Bureau.

Decision Adopted: 18 COM IX

Palace of Abomey (Benin)

The Committee commended the Government of Benin and ICCROM for the activities undertaken since 1992 in training in preventive conservation and for the project for the conservation and enhancement of the Royal Palaces of Abomey which is foreseen for 1994-1996 in collaboration with ICCROM and the Government of Italy. The Committee decided to retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger and requested the Secretariat to ensure that a monitoring mission be undertaken to Abomey to evaluate the state of conservation of the eleven palaces that have not yet been subject to restoration and to report on it to the Bureau at its nineteenth session.

 

Decision Adopted: 18 EXT.BUR V.B.2.2

1. ICCROM/CRATerre (International Centre for Earthen Constructions): Training for a professional team and craftsmen-technicians team for the restoration and maintenance of the Palace of Abomey, Benin - US$33,000

The Bureau recommended the approval of US$33,000 out of the original request for US$44,000.

2. Regional Training Course of Maghreb Architects for the Conservation and Protection of Cultural Monuments and Sites (1994 and 1995, Tunisia) - US$50,000

The Bureau recommended the approval by the Committee of the full amount of US$50,000 for this request.

3. Regional Meeting of Directors of Cultural Offices in Latin America and the Caribbean (April 1995, Cartagena, Colombia) - US$45,000

The Bureau recommended approval by the Committee of the requested amount of US$45,000 under budgetary provisions other than training, subject to the availability of funds.

Decision Adopted: 18 COM XII.6-7

XII.6 The Committee noted that the Bureau at its eighteenth session in December 1994, examined eleven requests for training activities related to cultural properties of which five were submitted by ICCROM and six by State Parties to the total amount exceeding US$ one million. The Bureau reported to the Committee that in view of budgetary constraints it gave priority to requests submitted by developing countries for activities benefiting site managers of World Heritage cultural properties. Funding of courses held in situ which take into account local training needs were given priority consideration over "regular contribution to annual courses" organised at the headquarters of training institutes.

XII.7 The Committee took note of the following decisions of the Bureau for training requests under the amount of US$30,000:

Requests approved by the Bureau:

  1. Sub-Regional Conservation Workshop on Western European Medieval Wall Paintings, 1 July - 10 September 1995, Sighisoara, Romania - US$28,000.
  2. Scientific Principles of Conservation Regional Course for Latin America, June-July 1995, Belo Horizonte, Brazil - US$30,000.
  3. Training of Technical Personnel, Cap Vert - US$25,000.
  4. Training for the Region of Latin America in Conservation of the Adobe World Heritage, October 1995, Chan Chan, Peru - US$20,000.

Requests not approved by the Bureau:

  1. International Architectural Conservation Course ARC 95 (18 January - 26 May 1995, Rome, Italy)- US$25,000: was not approved by the Bureau in view of other priorities and due to the availability of other funding sources for this regular course.
  2. Regional Training Courses in Architectural and Urban Heritage Conservation, 5 September 1994 to 30 June 1995, Bratislava, Slovak Republic - US$19,030:
    This request was not approved at this time due to budgetary constraints and other requests of higher priorities.

Requests approved by the Committee:

The Committee endorsed the recommendation by the Bureau to approve the following requests:

  1. ICCROM/CRATerre (International Centre for Earthen Constructions): Training for a professional team; and craftsmen-technician team for the restoration and maintenance of the Palace of Abomey, Benin - US$ 33,000 approved out of the initial request of US$44,000.
  2. Regional Training Course of Maghreb Architects for the Conservation and Protection of Cultural Monuments and Sites (1995 and 1996, Tunisia) - US$50,000
  3. Regional Meeting of Directors of Cultural Offices in Latin America and the Caribbean (April 1995, Cartagena, Colombia)
    The Committee approved the requested amount of US$45,000 to be funded under the budgetary provisions of technical co-operation or other budget lines.

Requests not approved by the Committee:

On the recommendations of the Bureau, the following requests were not approved by the Committee for reasons indicated below:

  1. International Course on the Technology of Stone Conservation, ICCROM, 30 March - 14 June 1995, Venice, Italy.
    Despite recognition of the importance of this course and the support given to it in previous years, this US$51, 000 request from ICCROM was not approved in view of the fact that other funding sources were available for the organization of this regular course.
  2. Training Programme in the Conservation of Architecture, Painting, Wood, Stone and Antique Objects for the Preservation of the Hue World Heritage Site (1995, dates not specified), Vietnam.
    The Committee endorsed the recommendation of the Bureau not to approve this request for US$40,790 in view of the approval under Technical Cooperation of US$ 108,000 for the purchase of conservation laboratory equipment and related training in Hue which was deemed to be of higher priority.