State of Conservation (SOC)
Royal Palaces of Abomey (1995)
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:93,000USD
|1995||ICCROM/Abomey Palace: analysis of architectural archives to ...||20,000 USD|
|1994||ICCROM/CRATerre: Training for a professional team and a ...||33,000 USD|
|1989||Financial contribution to the restoration works on the Royal ...||20,000 USD|
|1985||Financial contribution to restoration works concerning the Royal ...||20,000 USD|
April 1985: UNESCO mission; July 1995: experts mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Storm in 1984 (issue resolved)
Current conservation issues
In accordance with the recommendation adopted by the Bureau at its eighteenth session, the mission comprising two Italian experts: Professor Spini (architect) and Ms Antongini (archaeologist), visited Benin from 3 to 28 July 1995. The mission reviewed and completed the nomination documents by making recordings of the entire nominated site, that is 44 hectares. The state of conservation of the enclosing wall, the entrance doors of the twelve palaces, the two palaces of the museum area and the remains of the ten other palaces, as well as buffer zones around the site, were examined. This completes the diagnostic provided by CRATerre-EAG/ICCROM in the framework of their intervention on site, and which also includes a pathological analysis of the "banco".
This report is illustrated by abundant unpublished cartographic material and a wealth of photographic documentation which in particular allows the comparison of the state of conservation of the buildings between 1987 and 1995. The state of conservation of the bas reliefs was also examined. Furthermore, the report presents an anthropological analysis of the site and an interpretation of the inner and outer areas. This anthropological dimension is thus emphasized. It will give meaning to possible itineraries on the site and facilitate the visitor's comprehension.
With this report, the Benin authorities possess all the necessary documentation for the preparation of a management and conservation plan for the site.
The Bureau may wish to recommend to the Committee to adopt the following text:
"The Committee recommends that the Benin authorities prepare, as soon as possible, and in cooperation with CRATerre-EAG and ICCROM, a conservation management plan which could be presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 21st session (December 1997), at the latest".
Link to the decision
VII.25 Royal Palaces of Abomey (Benin)
In accordance with the recommendation adopted by the Bureau at its eighteenth session in July 1995, the Committee was informed of a mission organized by the World Heritage Centre to Abomey to complete and update the nomination documents and prepare a state of conservation report. The mission recommended to the authorities concerned:
1) to identify more precisely the boundaries of the site and enhance the respect of the buffer zone which should take into account the enclosing walls and the old entrance doors;
2) establish a global conservation and management plan which should take account of the fragility of the material and immaterial structures;
3) foresee a management structure under the authority of the Cultural Heritage Directorate and in which the partners involved in the enhancement of the site, notably representatives of the Royal families and the development associations would be participating.
The Committee took note of the recommendations contained in the report and commended the Benin authorities and invited them to prepare, in cooperation with CRATerre - EAG and ICCROM, a conservation and management plan to be presented to the World Heritage Committee at its twentieth session (December 1997) at the latest. The Committee decided to maintain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Secretariat recommends the Committee to take note of the written information provided by the Secretariat and to adopt the following:
"The Committee recommended that the Benin authorities prepare, as soon as possible, and in cooperation with CRATerre-EAG and ICCROM, a conservation management plan which could be presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 21st session (December 1997), at the latest. The Committee decided to retain the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger."
View inscribed site documents, nomination file, reports, decisions, ...
SOC Reports2013 2012 2010 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 1998 1997 1995 1994 1985
Detailed List of SOC reports
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 1985 -2007
Threats to the Site:
The site was inscribed simultaneously on the World Heritage List and on the List of the World Heritage in Danger in 1985, after a tornado struck Abomey on 15 March 1984.
According to a report at the time, the royal enclosure and museums (particularly the Guezo Portico, the Assins Room, King Glèlè's Tomb and Jewel Room) had suffered extensive damage. Since 1984, several conservation programs have done effective work at the site.
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”).