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 Secretariat has been informed that the Government of Albania has decided to nominate the site and the neighbouring area to the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. To date, this nomination is under examination. Furthermore, the Secretariat has been informed that a decree - rather than a law - may be proposed for the legal protection and management of the World Heritage site. A letter was sent to the Permanent Delegation of Albania on 12 February 2003 requesting some information on the consequences it would have for the protection level of the site. In addition, the Secretariat has been informed that a large tourist development project is currently foreseen by the Albanian authorities in the immediate vicinity of the World Heritage site. A letter was sent on 28 February 2003 to the Permanent Delegation of Albania to UNESCO.
On 14 March 2003 the World Heritage Centre received copies of the translation of two newspaper articles stating that the Albanian Minister of Culture is considering the possibility of allowing the construction of tourist resorts in the National Park and to suspend the archaeological excavations carried out by the Butrint Foundation (Koha Jone, 14 March 2003). In another article (Korrieri, February 28 2003), some contradictory information is given about the excavation activities of the past years in the area by British archaeologists.
On 27 March 2003 the Centre received a copy of a letter from the World Bank to the Albanian Prime Minister concerning planned construction activities within or close to the World Heritage site of Butrint. In this letter the Bank ‘strongly recommends that any residential or commercial developments should be considered only after appropriate land use study and environmental assessment are carried out’, and that the Bank is aware ‘of continuing reported attempts to encroach on the Butrint National Park, or pursue other developments in its immediate vicinity’.
On 1 April 2003 the Permanent Delegation of Albania sent a report from the Albanian Minister of Culture wherein the Centre is informed about the extension of the members’ composition of the Board of the National Park of Butrint, about the fact that the duties and policies that each of the members of the Board have planned to develop in the Butrint Park are clearly identified in a yearly Agreement between the members of this Board; that the identification, priorities and time schedule of the preservation works to be carried out by the Cultural Monuments Institute are clearly identified in the Agreement and that the Albanian Council of Ministers is discussing a draft decision ‘on the Functioning of the Administration and Coordination office of the National Park of Butrint; Moreover, the report lists the legal framework that has been developed since 1992 and confirms that the Albanian Parliament ratified the RAMSAR Convention and that the new law for cultural heritage has already been adopted by the Council of Ministers.
This report also states that all illegal construction built within the boundaries of the park has been demolished, and it is noted that there is no decision of the Council of Ministers giving license to build inside the spaces of the National Park.
In addition to the information above, the Centre was informed on 14 April 2003, that the cultural heritage law of Albania was passed in the Albanian parliament. This would lead to an important step in the protection of Butrint.
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Expresses its appreciation to the Albanian authorities for the progress made with the legal protection of and the institutional arrangements for the World Heritage property;
2. Recalls that a mission is foreseen to the property in October 2003 in order to assess if the property can be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
3. Requests that a report, taking into account all issues which led to the inscription of the property in the List of World Heritage in Danger, be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session in 2004;
4. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-03/27.COM/7A),;
2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
- Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam, Afghanistan (27 COM 7A.21)
- Butrint, Albania (27 COM 7A.26 )
- Tipasa, Algeria (27 COM 7A.17)
- Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin (27 COM 7A.15)
- Angkor, Cambodia (27 COM 7A.22)
- Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park, Central African Republic (27 COM 7A.12 )
- Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea (27 COM 7A.4)
- Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Sangay National Park, Ecuador (27 COM 7A.13)
- Abu Mena, Egypt (27 COM 7A.18)
- Simien National Park, Ethiopia (27 COM 7A.3)
- Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, Honduras (27 COM 7A.14)
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, India (27 COM 7A.9)
- Group of Monuments at Hampi, India (27 COM 7A.23)
- Old City of Jerusalem & its Walls (27COM7A.29)
- Timbuktu, Mali (27 COM 7A.16)
- Air & Ténéré Natural Reserves, Niger (27 COM 7A.5)
- Bahla Fort, Oman (27 COM 7A.19)
- Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan (27 COM 7A.242)
- Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Peru (27 COM 7A.28)
- Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Philippines (27 COM 7A.25)
- Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, Senegal (27 COM 7A.6)
- Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia (27 COM 7A.8)
- Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda (27 COM 7A.7)
- Everglades National Park, United States of America (27 COM 7A.11)
- Historic Town of Zabid, Yemen (27 COM 7A.20)
Draft 27 COM (a) 26
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Thanks the Albanian authorities for the progress made with the legal protection of and the institutional arrangements for the World Heritage site;
2. Recalls that a mission is foreseen to the site in October 2003 in order to assess if the site can be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
3. Requests that a report be submitted by 1 February 2004 for review by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-eighth session;
4. Decides to retain the site on 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”).