State of Conservation (SOC)
Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa (2000)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:0USD
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Boundaries of the property
- Pressures of urban development and Growth in tourism-related activities resulting in many construction activities
- Reconstruction and/or demolition of historic structures and rebuilding with new material and design features
- Deterioration of mural paintings due to humidity; use of lacquer varnish and excessive retouches
Current conservation issues
The Bureau, at its twenty-fourth session, requested the State Party to maintain the authenticity of the area and provide a report on the conservation plan of Shöl to the Secretariat by 15 September 2000 for examination by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau. The Secretariat received, on 25 September 2000, a Report on the Protection of the Shöl Area under the Hill of the Potala Palace and related Plans prepared by the State Administration of Culture Heritage of China. The Report was transmitted to ICOMOS for review and comments. The Secretariat was informed that the local authorities terminated the activities of the Tibet Heritage Fund, a NGO supported by several European governments working in Lhasa for the conservation of traditional building in the Barkhor area surrounding the Jokhang Temple. This area is proposed as an extension to the World Heritage site of the Potala Palace.
The report submitted by the Government of China stated that “according to reports from the Cultural Heritage Bureau of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), there were schemes to demolish ancient buildings or set up tourist facilities at the Shöl Area by non-cultural heritage organisation or individuals. However, the Cultural Heritage Bureau of Tibet, the competent authority of TAR, has stopped all the projects. The future plan for the area is to move out the residents who are not original dwellers of the area, so as to better reserve the traditional buildings in their true and integrate conditions. It was also learned that the Tibetan Archives, with financial support from a foreign non-government institution, the Tibet Heritage Fund, has started the restoration of the ruins of an ancient building without the permission from the competent culture heritage authorities, which is now making investigations and settlement."
Furthermore, the Secretariat was informed that the protection area of the Potala Palace has been redefined according to the “Measures on the Protection and Management of the Potala Palace” issued by the No 10 Order of the People’s Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The protection area circled by the surroundings walls is the core area as well as the Northeast Corner of the Red Hill where the Potala Palace stands. The buffer zone is clearly indicated on a Map attached to the report.
Link to the decision
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The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)
VIII.36 Islamic Cairo (Egypt)
VIII.37 Roman Monuments, Cathedral St Peter and Liebfrauen-Church in Trier (Germany)
Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin (Germany)
Classical Weimar (Germany)
Hortabagy National Park (Hungary)
VIII.38 Khajuraho Group of Monuments (India) Sun Temple of Konarak (India) Petra (Jordan) Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic) Byblos (Lebanon) Ksar Ait Ben Haddou (Morocco) VIII.39 Island of Mozambique (Mozambique) Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal) Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo - San Lorenzo (Panama) Archaeological Site of Chavin (Peru) VIII.40 Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)
VIII.38 Khajuraho Group of Monuments (India)
Sun Temple of Konarak (India)
Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic)
Ksar Ait Ben Haddou (Morocco)
VIII.39 Island of Mozambique (Mozambique)
Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal)
Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo - San Lorenzo (Panama)
Archaeological Site of Chavin (Peru)
VIII.40 Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)
VIII.41 Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Philippines)
VIII.42 Cultural Landscape of Sintra (Portugal)
VIII.43 Istanbul (Turkey)
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Link to the decision
Property: The Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple Monastery, Lhasa
Id. N°: 707 Bi
State Party: China
Criteria: C (i) (iv) (vi)
The Committee decided to approve the extension of the inscribed property of the Potala Palace to include the Jokhang Temple Monastery.
The Committee decided to retain the name of the city (Lhasa) in the name of the property.
The Bureau may wish to examine the information provided above and request the State Party for clarifications regarding the government policy on the involvement of international NGOs, multilateral and bilateral development co-operation agencies in the conservation of cultural heritage in Lhasa.
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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”).