State of Conservation (SOC)
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:106,000USD
|1996||Technical assistance for the restoration of Butrint||6,000 USD|
October 1997: joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/Butrint Foundation assessment mission; April 2001: joint mission UNESCO/ICOMOS/Butrint Foundation
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Difficult financial situation
- Need for monitoring of the situation at the site
Current conservation issues
The 25th session of the Bureau requested the State Party to submit a report by 15 September 2001 on its proposal for the implementation of recommendations contained in the report of the joint mission UNESCO-ICOMOS-Butrint Foundation (19-24 April 2001). A report was received from the Ministry of Culture on 22 February 2002. This report informed that the setting and character of the landscape of the World Heritage site of Butrint is of great importance and that the Ministry of Culture, through its local office in Saranda, the Butrint Administration and Coordination Office (BAC), and in cooperation with the World Bank, have completed the law for managing the site. This law is to be passed in the Albanian Parliament in the near future and will prevent any development within the Park's territory and its boundaries. The report also underlined that the BAC Office has been very active in preventing any illegal activities within the Park boundaries and its vicinity. Furthermore, the report informed that efforts are underway, in cooperation with the World Bank, to enlist the Butrint National Park in the Ramsar List as a site of significant environmental importance.
Concerning the archaeological resources, the report stressed that the BAC Office is continuing its efforts to coordinate the work of the Institute of Archaeology and of the Butrint Foundation and that a computer based Geographical Information System is being developed and would serve towards better management of the archaeological resources. A management plan is being developed to pursue a combination of archaeological research, archaeological excavations and follow-up of conservation actions. With regard to the standing structures, there has been considerable progress but there is still much to be done. The BAC Office is now working on developing a full annual maintenance programme. The conservation and display of the mosaics remains as a priority.
Furthermore, the report underlined that security has improved with the introduction of the Park Ranger Programme. The Butrint Rangers have completed a comprehensive training programme offered by the International Ranger Federation and a grant by the World Bank. The reopening of the Butrint Museum is the responsibility of the Institute of Archaeology. Security issues for the Museum would be addressed through a comprehensive management plan. However, the report stressed that little progress has been made in the efforts to reopen the Museum. Finally, and concerning the site presentation and interpretation, the report informed that publications for visitor information are available at the entry kiosk of the site and that the recent publication of the guidebook, by the Butrint Foundation, in both English and Albanian, improves the on-site information provided. Furthermore, Park guides are trained by the BAC Office. Contacts have also been established with schools for the effective use of the educational potential of the World Heritage site of Butrint.
Analysis and Conclusion
The World Heritage Committee,
Link to the decision
1. Takes note of the report provided by the State Party and welcomes the progress made to enhance the protection, preservation and presentation of the World Heritage site;
2. Reiterates the recommendations made by the Bureau at its 25th session, notably regarding the enlargement of the Butrint National Park Board to include, at the national and regional level, all relevant authorities to ensure a strong and effective co-ordination of the management of the World Heritage site;
3. Urges the State Party to take all appropriate measures, at the national level, to ensure that the Butrint National Park Law be enacted as soon as possible in order to better protect the site;
4. Reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to work closely with the Centre for the smooth implementation of emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund;
5. Requests the State Party to provide by 1 February 2003, a report on the measures taken to comply with these recommendations for examination at its next session in June/July 2003;
6. Decides to retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Committee may wish to adopt the following decision:
" The Committee takes note of the report provided by the State Party and welcomes the progress made to enhance the protection, preservation and presentation of the World Heritage site. The Committee reiterates the recommendations made by the Bureau at its 25th session notably regarding the enlargement of the Butrint National Park Board to include, at the national and regional level, all relevant authorities in order to ensure a strong and effective co-ordination for the management of the World Heritage site. The Committee urges the State Party to take all appropriate measures, at the national level, to ensure that the Butrint National Park law be enacted as soon as possible in order to better protect the site. Furthermore, the Committee reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to work closely with the Secretariat for the smooth implementation of emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund. The Committee requests the State Party to provide a report by 1 February 2003 on the measures taken to complete these recommendations for examination by its next session in June 2003. The Committee decides to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger."
View inscribed site documents, nomination file, reports, decisions, ...
SOC Reports2009 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996
Detailed List of SOC reports
Need for monitoring of the situation at the site
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 1997 -2005
Threats to the Site:
The civil disturbances in the country in early 1997 did not cause any irreversible damage to the archaeological site itself, but the showcases of the museum were opened and looted. No inventory of the stolen objects has yet been made, but fortunately the site's most famous treasure, the marble head of the 2nd-century BC “Goddess of Butrint” had been moved to Tirana before the event.
The Committee's concern over the continued lack of adequate protection, management, and conservation of the site led to its inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1997 with the full support of the Minister of Culture of Albania who voiced his government's concern and commitment to the preservation of the site.
A joint mission to Butrint in October 1997 had noted that the site remains vulnerable for a number of reasons, including the lack of proper fencing. Two water pumps used to preserve the ancient theatre from infiltration had been stolen earlier that year and had to be replaced. Computers and other equipment were also needed to prepare an inventory, and other urgent needs had to be met.
The Committee allocated an amount of US$100,000 as emergency assistance in December 1997.
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”).