1.         Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu (China) (C 704)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1994

Criteria  (i)(iv)(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/704/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/704/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Need to enhance the management plan (issue resolved).

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/704/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 28 March 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report; a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/704/documents/.  This report was prepared in response to a letter from the World Heritage Centre dated 9 December 2013 requesting the State Party’s comments on the razing of historical housing stock within the buffer zone of the property in spring 2013, and the reported scheduled development of a new hotel complex in its stead.

The State Party considers this to be a comprehensive renovation project (partly funded by the World Bank) that responds appropriately to an urgent need to improve the living conditions of residents in the buffer zone, while protecting its historical sites and features. The planned project covers 13.34 ha in the buffer zone. All the registered historical buildings and valuable historical housing will be retained, and the archaeological site of the Ancient Panchi area will be presented to the public through the construction of related facilities. There is no plan to build a new hotel complex, according to the State Party.

The State Party further reports that the Qufu municipal government has completed a “Site Plan and Schematic Plan of the Ancient Panchi Area.” This plan was examined by a panel of experts in May 2013, but has yet to be submitted to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. A total of 588 households have been moved since the first half of 2013; residents of this area have priority to purchase newly constructed houses in the area. Each building was assessed before demolition. The State Party characterizes the area as being full of makeshift housing built within the last half-century, located within a badly decayed environment and lacking basic infrastructure. After the demolitions an archaeological survey was carried out by local department of cultural heritage. Based on the archaeological findings, expertssuggested some modifications to the plan for the area.

The State Party’s report also includes a short excerpt from the conservation plan for the property, which has been completed and is currently going through the approval procedure. In brief, the excerpt indicates that no construction or facility that causes an immediate or potential negative impact to the property or its setting is allowed.

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

Based on the report submitted by the State Party, there is concern about the potential impacts that the large-scale demolition and redevelopment of the Ancient Panchi area within the buffer zone may have on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its authenticity and integrity. As a consequence, It is recommended that the Committee strongly urge the State Party to carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) as a part of all proposals for all major restorations or new constructions – including for the comprehensive Ancient Panchi area renovation project – in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage Properties, in order to ascertain the extent to which the attributes that sustain the OUV of the property may be affected.

It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee also strongly urge the State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to submit information about the full scope of this redevelopment project and that of any other proposals that may affect the OUV of the property,before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite an ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property to enable a formal assessment of the new developments and their potential impact on the property’s OUV and urge the State Party to submit a HIA for the Ancient Panchi area project, together with the complete conservation plan for the property that is currently undergoing approval in advance of such a reactive monitoring mission.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.11

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Takes note of the information submitted by the State Party regarding the comprehensive redevelopment of the Ancient Panchi area that is currently underway within the buffer zone of the property;
  3. Expresses its concern about the potential impacts that this project may have on the attributes that sustain the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its authenticity and integrity;
  4. Strongly urges the State Party to inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, about the full scope of the Ancient Panchi area project, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and about any other projects that may potentially affect the OUV of the property, including its authenticity or integrity, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  5. Requests the State Party to invite an ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property to enable a formal assessment of the new developments and their potential impact on the property’s OUV;
  6. Also strongly urges the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, a Heritage Impact Assessment for the Ancient Panchi area project, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage Cultural Properties, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, an electronic and three printed copies of the complete conservation plan for the property as well as its summary in English, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.