1.         Sun Temple, Konârak (India) (C 246)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1984

Criteria  (i)(iii)(vi)

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/246/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 49,500
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/246/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/246/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The heavy monsoon rains of 1996 and 1997 caused the sand-fill and the surrounding foundation, supporting the very large stone structure of the Sun Temple, to subside seriously. Loose stones have already begun to fall into the hollow interior of the Temple, previously supported by the sand-fill. International experts have pointed to the risk of the Temple structure caving in unless immediate conservation measures are undertaken.
Cracks in various parts of the stone walls, triggered by the gradual rusting of the iron clamps supporting the Temple walls caused by the sea breeze, have led to stone fragments falling off. This gradual deterioration and the structural instability aggravated by the heavy monsoon rains, prompted the Government of India to make a request in September 1997 for emergency assistance under the World Heritage Fund to conduct a structural study to identify appropriate emergency conservation measures. This request was approved by the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee. The Government has plans to nominate this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Action Required

The Bureau took note of the above information and recommended the Committee to adopt the following:

"The Committee requests the Government of India to report on the findings of the structural study to be undertaken with the emergency assistance grant at its twentysecond session of the Bureau in June/July 1998. Furthermore, it requests the Government of India to keep the Secretariat informed in the meantime to enable UNESCO to mobilize additional international co-operation to ascertain the present condition of the property to undertake corrective measures as required."

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The heavy monsoon rains of 1996 and 1997 caused the sand-fill and the surrounding foundation, supporting the very large stone structure of the Sun Temple, to subside seriously. Loose stones have already begun to fall into the hollow interior of the Temple, previously supported by the sand-fill. International experts have pointed to the risk of the Temple structure caving in unless immediate conservation measures are undertaken.

Cracks in various parts of the stone walls, triggered by the gradual rusting of the iron clamps supporting the Temple walls caused by the sea breeze, have led to stone fragments falling off. This gradual deterioration and the structural instability aggravated by the heavy monsoon, prompted the Government of India to make a request in September 1997 for emergency assistance under the World Heritage Fund to conduct a structural study to identify appropriate emergency conservation measures. The Government has plans to nominate this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 21 COM VII.C.50/51

VII.50 Sun Temple of Konarak (India)

The Committee took note of the report of the Secretariat and requested the Government of India to report on the findings of the structural studies to be undertaken with the World Heritage Fund emergency assistance grant at its twenty-second session of the Bureau in June/July 1998. Furthermore, it requested the Government of India to keep the Secretariat informed in the meantime, to enable UNESCO to mobilize additional international cooperation to ascertain the present condition of the property to undertake corrective measures as required.

The Observer of India, thanked the Committee for its support in the efforts made by the Government of India and the Department for Archaeology in safeguarding this site, and assured the Committee that the report on the structural studies would be submitted, as requested.