1.         Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Serbia) (C 724bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2006-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

  1. Lack of legal status of the property;
  2. Lack of legislative protection of buffer zones;
  3. Lack of implementation of the Management Plan and of active management;
  4. Difficulties to monitor the property due to political instability, post-conflict situation (visits under the Kosovo Stabilisation Force / United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (KFOR / UNMIK) escort and lack of guards and security);
  5. Unsatisfactory state of conservation and maintenance of the property.

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

  1. Full and permanent protection of the property in a secure and stable political environment;
  2. Agreed medium-term plan for the restoration of wall paintings (including preventive conservation regime) and conservation and rehabilitation of the property;
  3. Implementation of the Management Plan, and full establishment of buffer zones and boundaries including their legal protection.

Corrective measures identified

Urgent / short-term corrective measures:

  1. Put in place appropriate guarding and security arrangements for the Church of the Virgin of Ljevisa;
  2. Prepare a conservation status report including a condition survey for the wall paintings and the status of the conservation works and take temporary measures where there is an urgent need (for example the lead roof of the west bay of the nave of the Church of Virgin of Ljevisa, that was partly removed);
  3. Prepare a risk preparedness study, in conformity with Paragraph 118 of the Operational Guidelines and Decisions 28 COM 10B.4 and 30 COM 7.2.

Long-term corrective measures:

  1. Ensure the adequate long-term administrative, regulatory protection and management of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 97 of the Operational Guidelines;
  2. Put in place strong protective regimes for the buffer zones;
  3. Adequately delineate the boundaries (e.g. extend the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Pec to include more of its riverside-valley settings);
  4. Prepare detailed state of conservation reports as a basis for adapted monitoring, preventative conservation measures, and specific conservation projects to reverse decline;
  5. Ensure appropriate and timely implementation of the Management Plan.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

  1. Urgent / short-term corrective measures to be taken by the State Party, in cooperation with UNESCO programmes, UNMIK and Provisional Institutions of Self Government in Kosovo*;
  2. Regarding the long-term corrective measures to be taken by the State Party, in cooperation with UNESCO programmes, UNMIK and Provisional Institutions of Self Government in Kosovo, no specific timeframe can be given at this stage due to the uncertain political situation.

* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/724/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/724/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 2,798,348 in 2008-2014 following the Donors Conference for the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo, May 2005; USD 693,330 in 2008-2013 by the Italian Government; USD 76,335 in 2008-2013 by the Czech Government; USD 132,833 in 2008-2013 by the Greek Government; USD 2,010,000 in 2011-2014 by the Government of the Russian Federation and USD 45,000 in 2012-2013 by the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Previous monitoring missions

January 2007: UNESCO intersectoral mission to Kosovo; July 2008: UNESCO Venice Office (BRESCE) mission; January and August 2009, July 2010, July 2012, January and July 2013, January and June 2014: UNESCO Venice Office missions.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

  1. Lack of legal status of the property;
  2. Lack of legislative protection of buffer zones;
  3. Lack of implementation of the Management Plan and of active management;
  4. Difficulties to monitor the property due to political instability, post-conflict situation (visits under the Kosovo Stabilisation Force / United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (KFOR / UNMIK) escort and lack of guards and security);
  5. Unsatisfactory state of conservation and maintenance of the property.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/724/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

Note: The Secretariat was informed by UNESCO’s Legal Advisor in 2008 that the UNESCO Secretariat follows the practice of the United Nations, which considers that the Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) continues to be applicable to the territory of Kosovo until a final settlement is achieved.

At its 38th session (Doha, 2014), the World Heritage Committee decided to adjourn until its 39th ordinary session the debate on the state of conservation of the property (Decision 38 COM 7A.18). The state of conservation report presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session is available on the World Heritage Centre’s website at the following page: https://whc.unesco.org/archive/2014/whc14-38com-7A-en.pdf. The present report includes updated information.

On 28 January 2015, the Permanent Delegation of Serbia to UNESCO submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/724/documents/. Additional information, related to the implementation of projects at the property, was provided by the UNESCO Office in Venice and by UNMIK.

Conservation works, begun in preceding years in all four components of the property, continued in 2013-2015, with support from extra-budgetary donors listed above, as well as from UNESCO’s Regular Programme funds, and with the continued involvement of the UNESCO Office in Venice.

These works concerned sarcophagus conservation, as well as fresco consolidation and restoration works at the Decani Monastery; an assessment and a preliminary survey at Pec Monastery; an assessment, mapping and preliminary survey of the stone fragments at the Virgin of Ljevisa Church; as well as conservation works at the Gracanica Monastery. The report submitted by the Permanent Delegation of Serbia mentions an unresolved issue concerning a bypass road near the Gracanica Monastery, as well as a plan to build a guesthouse at Pec Monastery. Further details were provided by the State Party by letter of 26 March 2015.

The report submitted by the Permanent Delegation of Serbia also mentions graffiti incidents which occurred at the Decani Monastery on several occasions during 2014.

Concerning the security situation at the property, it should be noted that three components of the property are currently under the protection of Kosovo Police: the Gracanica Monastery, the Virgin of Ljevisa Church and Patriarchate of Pec, the latter having been “unfixed” in August 2013 (the “unfixing” process is the handover of security responsibility from the NATO-led Kosovo Force, KFOR, to the specific unit of Kosovo Police dealing with cultural heritage monuments). The fourth component of the property, Decani Monastery, still remains under KFOR protection.

In April 2013, the Director-General of UNESCO requested the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to re-examine the timeline for “unfixing” processes in the Decani Monastery and the Patriarchate of Pec. In April and October 2014, graffiti incidents occurred again at the Decani Monastery. Consequently, in October 2014, the Director-General of UNESCO renewed its appeal to the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to continue the protection by KFOR of this component of the World Heritage property. A verbal reply was received from NATO, assuring that the “unfixing” of the Decani Monastery was not envisaged.

The World Heritage Centre is continuously receiving assurances from the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) that the latter is working closely with all entities mandated to maintain security, and is specifically monitoring all developments which may potentially compromise the security of the property.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7A.42

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Decides to adjourn the debate on this agenda item until its next ordinary session.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: