State of Conservation (SOC)
Churches and Convents of Goa
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Ap proved: 0USD
October 1999: World Heritage Centre reactive monitoring mission in the Region
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
World Heritage Bureau, twenty-third session - Chapter IV.60
New information: To follow-up on the decision of the Bureau at its twenty-third session, a World Heritage Centre staff carried out a mission to the World Heritage site of Goa in October 1999 as part of the reactive monitoring mission to the region. The mission was informed by the concerned authorities of the State Government of Goa that the planned project for upgrading and extending the National Road No. 4 had been modified following the Bureau’s decision, and the current plan is to divert the National Road No. 4 to ensure that the urban development plan would not impact upon the World Heritage values and morphology of the site. The concerned authority requested the World Heritage Committee to examine the new proposal to ensure that the World Heritage value of the site is fully preserved. This new plan with relevant documentation will be transmitted to ICOMOS and ICCROM for comments at the time of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau.
With regard to the project proposal prepared by the Centre in January 1999 for funding consideration under the European Commission’s Asia-Urbs programme based on co-operation between the local authorities of Old Goa (India), Guimareas (Portugal) and Brighton & Hove (UK) and technical expertise from the Portuguese Direction-General for National Monuments and Edifices (DGEMN), the Municipality of Panaji and the Panchayat of Old Goa are currently examining the project in detail with the Archaeological Survey of India and all the relevant authorities of the State Government of Goa. If approved, the project should enable the provision of much needed technical support to elaborate an urban conservation plan based on spatial organization and landscaping of the site which will respect the historic urban form of this former port town.
During the mission, the Archaeological Survey of India was encouraged to prepare and submit an international assistance request for making a thorough evaluation of the conservation needs of each monument, including conservation-training requirements, following the decision of the Bureau at its twenty-third session.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
The Bureau was informed that the World Heritage Centre undertook a mission to Goa in January 1999 to develop a project proposal based on co-operation between the local authorities of Old Goa (India), Guimaraes (Portugal) and Brighton & Hove (UK) for submission to the European Union Asia Urbs Programme. During this mission, it was noted that while there is an important effort being made to conserve the individual monuments, the overall site is not cohesive, both visually and spatially. Widening of the roads, neglect of archaeological ruins and new spatial organization and landscaping have enclosed the individual monuments in garden squares which have no relation to the historic urban form, thereby making the site into a collection of monuments undermining the integrity of the site as a former port town.
Urgent conservation needs for Se’ Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Church of St Francis of Assisi visited during the mission were noted, particularly the repair of moisture damaged wooden panels in order not to lose the art work (paintings and wood carving) on the panels.
An independent expert report subsequently received by the Centre noted grave concern over damage caused to some of the monuments due to the poor restoration work carried out with inappropriate material (concrete, synthetic paint, etc) in earlier years. While noting improvements in the more recent conservation work undertaken, the report stressed the need to enhance specialised training in material and architectural conservation. It is stressed the need to elaborate a comprehensive site management plan which would take into account a better presentation of the historic urban form of the site. Moreover, the report noted that the integrity and authenticity of the site would be seriously undermined if the planned project for the upgrading and extension of National Road No. 4 was implemented.
The Centre, upon consultations with the authorities of Old Goa, the State of Goa and locally-based experts of the Orient Foundation, among other institutions and non-governmental organizations, and in close collaboration with the local branch of the Archaeological Survey of India, prepared a project proposal for urban conservation and presentation. This proposal is now pending approval by the central government authorities prior to submission to donors. Subsequent discussions with the Portuguese Direction-General for National Monuments and Edifices (DGEMN) have resulted in a commitment of collaboration between the Centre and DGEMN to carry out an inventory of the site as the first step in elaborating a more coherent conservation management plan.
The Bureau, having been informed of the state of conservation of the property and efforts undertaken by the Secretariat in mobilizing financial and technical support, requested the State Party in collaboration with UNESCO and international conservation experts to: (a) make a thorough evaluation of the conservation needs of each monument, including conservation training requirements, (b) review the existing site development plan with a view to enhancing the coherence in the relationship between the monuments and its historic urban context, and (c) develop an integrated and multi-sectoral approach in the safeguarding and development of the site to ensure that public works to improve the network of necessary roads and utilities do not undermine the integrity of this World Heritage site. The Bureau requested the State Party to submit a report on the actions taken by 15 April 2000 for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-fourth session.
Link to the decision
X.46 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) and included in Annex VIII of this report on the following properties:
Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (Argentina and Brazil)
The Jesuit Mission of Santa Ana (Argentina)
The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)
City of Quito (Ecuador)
The Delegate of Ecuador informed the Committee that the volcano Pichincha had erupted on 5 October and November 26 1999 and that the National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INPC) and the Municipality of Quito had taken preventive measures to protect the population and the monuments.
Historic Centre of Tallin (Estonia)
Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)
Roman Monuments, Cathedral and Liebfrauen Church in Trier (Germany)
Ashanti Traditional Buildings (Ghana)
Churches and Convents of Goa (India)
Luang Prabang (Laos)
Island of Mozambique (Mozambique)
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal)
The Observer of HMG of Nepal assured the Committee that the conservation of the Maya Devi Temple would be undertaken following international conservation norms prescribed by the World Heritage Convention. He informed the Committee that HMG of Nepal would be grateful to receive expert suggestions from UNESCO concerning the draft conceptual design for the Maya Devi Temple conservation work, as such advice would be a guideline for elaborating the details of the design under preparation. The Observer assured the Committee that the designs for the works at Maya Devi Temple, once completed, would be transmitted to UNESCO, as assured by HMG of Nepal. The Observer informed the Committee that a technical cooperation request for the organization of an international technical meeting to discuss the proposed project for the conservation, restoration, and presentation of the Maya Devi Temple, would be submitted, following the request of the Bureau at its twenty-third session.
Archaeological Site of Chavin (Peru)
City of Cuzco (Peru)
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)
The Observer of the Philippines assured the Committee that the long-term integrated development plan of the site, including a tourism development plan for the site, would be submitted in due course to UNESCO, preferably before 15 September 2000. To ensure that the authenticity and sustainable conservation of this fragile site is maintained, the Observer stated that his Government would avail of the generous offer of the Committee to provide technical expertise under the World Heritage Fund.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)
The Sokkuram Grotto and Pulguksa Temple (Republic of Korea)
Alhambra, Generalife and Albaycin, Grenada (Spain)
Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)
The Observer of Turkey thanked the Bureau for the sympathies expressed for the victims of the earthquake this year. The Observer stated that Istanbul is the only one among the nine World Heritage sites in Turkey located in the region impacted by the August 1999 earthquake. While the damage can only be measured over time, initial assessment has noted minor cracks in several historic monuments including the Hagia Sophia, and four museums. Severe cracks have, however, been noted in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the conservation laboratory which is housed in an historic monument, in two historic library buildings, and in more than ten tombs as well as in the city walls (ramparts). The Committee was informed that the impact report of the second earthquake (in November 1999) on World Heritage sites had not been received by the Ministry of Culture of Turkey from its regional offices. The Observer said that a detailed report would be submitted to the Committee through the Secretariat as soon as it is completed.
With regard to the urban conservation plan of the historic peninsula of Istanbul, the Observer informed the Committee that the 1/5000 scale plan has just been completed and submitted to the Greater Istanbul Council and upon approval, will be transmitted to the Regional Conservation Council for clearance. As soon as this is officially approved, the 1/1000 scale plan will be prepared for the Fatih and Eminonu municipalities. In addition, the 1/500 scale detailed conservation plan for the Zeyrek district prepared by Istanbul Technical University, which was co-funded by the World Heritage Fund is about to be completed, and will be submitted to the Fatih Municipality for approval. The Observer thanked the UNESCO World Heritage Centre for having mobilized international support for the conservation of Istanbul's urban heritage, and in this regard, expressed particular appreciation for the financial support extended by the European Commission and the Government of France.
The Observer concluded her intervention by saying that due to the need to finance earthquake rehabilitation activities, the budget of all government services had been severely cut, including that of the Ministry of Culture. While on-going joint conservation projects with the municipalities of Istanbul will be continued, no expansion in the area of work or additional activities will be possible for 2000.
The Delegate of Greece called upon the Committee to provide support to Turkey in the rehabilitation of the earthquake damage. In this regard, she recalled her statement at the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau, which pointed to the need to prioritize the object of international support in view of the vast conservation needs of the Istanbul World Heritage area. The Chairperson, in his personal capacity stated that this spirit of collaboration and solidarity expressed by Greece in favour of Turkey was a demonstration of the spirit of the World Heritage Convention.
The Bureau may wish to examine additional information provided by ICOMOS and ICCROM at the time of its twenty-third extraordinary session and transmit the following with appropriate modifications to the Committee for noting;
“The Bureau takes note of the report of the Secretariat and the advisory bodies and expresses its appreciation for the new plan proposed by the State Government of Goa for diverting the National Road No. 4 to ensure that the much needed public works do not undermine the integrity of the World Heritage site of the Churches and Convents of Goa. The Bureau requests the World Heritage Centre to continue assisting the relevant authorities in addressing the conservation needs of the monuments and historic urban fabric composing the World Heritage site. The Bureau encourages the local, regional and national authorities concerned to continue to follow-up on the decision of the Bureau at its twenty-third session, and to submit a report on the actions taken by 15 April 2000 for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-fourth session.”
Churches and Convents of Goa
- Ground transport infrastructure
- Management systems/ management plan
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”).