1.         ─Žal Saflieni Hypogeum (Malta) (C 130)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1980

Criteria  (iii)

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/130/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-1993)
Total amount approved: USD 41,500
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/130/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

1979: expert mission on climatology and hydrology;  1980: expert mission in hydrology  ;  1990: expert mission to examine the ventilation system ; August 1994: UNESCO mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/130/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1995

During its eighteenth session, the Committee was informed of the very serious situation at the site which is partially flooded and in a state of rapid dilapidation due to numerous leaks in the adjacent drainage and sewage system, whereas the air-conditioning work partially financed from the World Heritage Fund two years ago, has not yet begun.

By letter of 6 February 1995, the Centre transmitted to the Maltese authorities the Committee requests concerning the repair of the drainage system in order to evacuate the water from the Hypogeum and to commence the work of conservation and equipping, particularly that which was financed by the World Heritage Fund, as well as to provide a detailed report by 1 April of the work undertaken.

Having received no information by 1 April, the Centre requested the Permanent Delegation of Malta to UNESCO, by letter of 4 April, to inform whether they had received direct information concerning these safeguarding measures.

Action Required

In the event that this information is not received by the Centre in time for its nineteenth session, the Bureau may wish to adopt the following position: "The Bureau expresses its regrets to the Maltese authorities that they have not responded to the requests of the Committee, and stresses the importance that the requested information be submitted to the Centre by 1 October 1995, so that the World Heritage Committee may evaluate the situation at its nineteenth session and take the measures it deems necessary.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1995

The Committee was informed, during its eighteenth session, of the very serious situation at this site, which is partially flooded and in a state of accelerated dilapidation due to numerous leaks in the adjacent water and drainage systems. It had been closed to the public for three years, and the air-conditioning work, partially financed by the World Heritage Fund two years ago, had not yet commenced.

By letter of 6 January 1995, the Centre transmitted to the Maltese authorities the requests of the Committee and Bureau to proceed with the repair work of the drainage system in order to evacuate the water from the Hypogeum and to commence the conservation and equipping, particularly that which is financed by the World Heritage Fund, and to provide a detailed report of the work undertaken.

By letter of 7 September, the Permanent Delegation of Malta transmitted to the Centre a detailed report from the Director of the Museums Department of Malta on all the measures already undertaken to ensure the safeguarding of this site.

a) Water systems and sewage

After carrying out the necessary survey, the Museums Department has succeeded in obtaining, thanks to its insistence, that the cost for the repair or replacement of the damaged drainage be calculated and prepared by the Department concerned. This work should commence during September and be completed in December 1995, at a cost of US$ 278,000.

b) Protection of the entrance to the monument

Glass panels will be installed at the end of 1995 or the beginning of 1996 to protect the original entrance to the monument, at a cost of US$ 198,000.

c) Improvement to the visitors' rooms

These rooms are being completely refurbished with all the necessary commodities. The work will be completed by end-1995 or the beginning of 1996, at a cost of US$ 89,800.

d) Lighting and air-conditioning

Appropriate equipment to combat the deterioration of the ochre wall paintings will be installed during 1996, once all the water has been evacuated from the monument, at a cost of US$ 700,000. The US$ 30,000 allocated by the Committee in 1993 will be used to complement national funds.

e) Fire detection and related equipment

All surveillance, protection and detection equipment will be installed in 1996, at a cost of US$ 55,000.

f) Improvement of the area surrounding the monument

The streets and the roads surrounding the monument will be repaved and improved upon completion of the repair work on the water system.

In general, all this work should be completed during 1996, and it is foreseen that the monument be reopened to the public in an excellent state of conservation by the end of 1996. The Maltese Government will have allocated an amount of over US$ 1.3 million for this work.

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

The Bureau may wish to recommend to the Committee to adopt the following text:

"The Committee warmly thanked the Government of Malta and in particular the Minister of Culture, for the considerable financial and human commitment undertaken for the preservation of this World Heritage site, as well as the Museums Department for its continued commitment and for the quality and success of its work. It congratulated the authorities on the complete and coherent management plan being undertaken and noted with satisfaction that the monument would soon be reopened to the public. It requested the Maltese authorities to keep the Centre informed of progress accomplished, by 1 April 1996."

 

Decision Adopted: 19 BUR VI.22

After having taken note of the Secretariat's report, the Bureau expressed its regrets that the Maltese authorities had not responded to the requests of the Committee, and stressed the importance that the requested information be submitted to the Centre by 1 October 1995, so that the World Heritage Committee may evaluate the situation at its nineteenth session and take the measures it deems necessary.

Following the presentation of the reports concerning these two sites, the Observer of Malta wished to thank the Centre for the work accomplished in close collaboration with the national authorities and for the excellent report resulting from a mission to the site by a member of the Secretariat at the invitation of the authorities responsible for conservation. She explained to the Bureau that the delay was not due to disinterest, but to a serious lack of personnel and, in the case of Hal Saflieni, the necessity that the measures concerning the drainage system should be undertaken by another ministerial department.

Decision Adopted: 19 COM VII.C.2.44

VII.44 Megalithic Temples (Malta) 
           Hal Saflieni Hypogeum (Malta)

The Committee was informed, during its eighteenth session, and the Bureau at its nineteenth session, of the very serious situation with regard to these monuments.

The Secretariat informed the Committee that since that time, the Permanent Delegation of Malta had transmitted a detailed report dated 4 September 1995 from the Director of the Museums Department of Malta on all the measures already undertaken or foreseen to ensure the long-term safeguarding of these sites, and indicating that high-level funding had been provided by the Government to finance this work.

The Committee thanked the Government of Malta and in particular the Minister of Culture, for the considerable financial and human commitment undertaken for the preservation of these prehistoric and protohistoric sites inscribed on the List, as well as to the Museums Department for its continued commitment and for the quality and success of its work. It congratulated the authorities on the complete and coherent management plan being undertaken and that the Megalithic temples are going to benefit from long-term preservation measures, whilst the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum should soon be reopened to the public. It invited the Maltese authorities to keep the Centre informed of progress accomplished, by 1 April 1996.