1.         Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Ukraine) (C 527bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1990

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)

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/527/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-2009)
Total amount approved: USD 44,720
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/527/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

May 1999: ICOMOS expert mission; April 2006: expert mission (Italian Funds-in-Trust); November 2007: World Heritage Centre information meeting for site managers; March 2009 and November 2010: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions; April 2013: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/527/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 31 January 2015, the State Party submitted a detailed state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/527/documents/, providing a summary of conservation and restoration works, and reports on progress made with the implementation of the Committee’s decisions.

The State Party reported on draft documents, including the Management Plan of the property, regulations and measures submitted for review and adoption by the relevant national authorities to prevent any inappropriate development and potential threats to the property's Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). In the Historical and Architectural Structure Plan, which is still under consideration, long-term measures are planned to ensure the protection of the property and its buffer zone, by setting stringent requirements for protection and for high-rise buildings. The zoning plan proposal includes a detailed zoning scheme for the buffer zone, including the protective no-construction zone of Sophia and Lavra into one buffer zone.

In 2014, a Memorandum of cooperation for the preservation of cultural heritage and future city development was signed between different departments of the city administration and the National Union of Architects. A temporary Control Committee of Kyiv City Council was established, the main task of which is verifying the legitimacy of decisions concerning land allocation in the central part of the city. A Working Group was also created composed by the representatives of relevant ministries, the City Council and the civil society.

The State Party reiterated its previous statement that a lighting effect will be used to mitigate the impact of the high-raise building on Klovsky descent 7-A on the historical environment. 

The State Party provided information on a number of issues regarding conservation activities at the property, as well as on the reconstructive work of lost buildings, such as a brethren's building, as well as on engineering protection of the territory and landslide events as part of planned activities of the Plan of the Organization of the Territory of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve approved by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.  

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

The authorities have taken measures to respond to the recommendation of the Committee, in particular concerning regular monitoring, conservation and repair works. Progress should be noted within the management system, in particular the establishment of coordination between main stakeholders, as well as creation of a temporary Control Committee of Kyiv City Council. 

It is however significant and regrettable that the State Party has not taken any steps to respond to the previous decisions of the Committee concerning the reduction of height of the building on Klovsky descent 7-A, classified as disharmonious in the Historical and Architectural Structure plan, to an appropriate scale.

ICOMOS has reviewed the project for restoration of the Far and Varangian caves labyrinths, the construction project proposal for the Malopidvalna N°3 and Dessyatynnyi provulok 3 and 5 situated within the buffer zone, the research of the monastery and river landscape of the right bank of the Dnieper surrounding the World Heritage property. The ICOMOS comments have been provided to the State Party on 19 March 2015.

It should be noted that the considerable work carried out for the reconstruction of lost buildings may have a negative impact on the OUV of the property. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre detailed information regarding these interventions.

Of concern, remain the persisting irregular practices within the buffer zone and the lack of information concerning progress made with the new cultural heritage legislation and adequate regulations for protection of the buffer zone. Currently, regulations and legal instruments seemingly fail to provide the adequate protection to the buffer zone. Definitions of building heights are too general and do not differentiate between the diverse characteristics of the urban areas in the buffer zone, leaving ample liberty for interpretation. All relevant documents, provisions, strict zoning regulations with particular emphasis on the establishment of no-construction zones and measures to limit construction permits require urgent validation and implementation in order to prevent further inappropriate development and potential threats to the OUV of the property.

It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to revise the draft of the Management Plan in conformity with the recommendations provided by ICOMOS to the State Party in 2014, and to proceed with its adoption and implementation as a matter of priority.

It is considered that although a number of measures have been taken, there are important weaknesses and deficient procedures that need to be urgently addressed in relation to interventions at heritage buildings and the adoption of a legislative framework. It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to implement all relevant measures specified in previous mission recommendations, Committee decisions and recommendations provided by ICOMOS to the State Party in 2015, in order to prevent further potential threats to the property’s OUV.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.85

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.33, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Takes note of the measures taken by the State Party to implement the previous decisions of the World Heritage Committee;
  4. Acknowledges the steps taken by the State Party to develop legal measures for the protection of the property including the moratorium on construction projects in the buffer zone and urges the State Party to adopt all relevant legal documents, regulations and measures specified in its previous decisions to support the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and prevent any potential threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  5. Requests the State Party to reduce the height of non-conforming and dissonant buildings in the buffer zone of the property which threaten and/or have negative impact on the OUV of the property, by means of demolishing the already constructed stories to the level of neighbouring historical buildings in accordance with its previous decisions;
  6. Expresses its concern about the reconstruction of the lost buildings undertaken at the property that can potentially erode its conditions of authenticity and requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, technical details, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), for all proposed projects that may threaten the OUV of the property;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an electronic and printed copy of the draft management plan of the property revised, in conformity with the ICOMOS recommendations, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, 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.