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

December 2014: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 27 November 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/704/documents/. Progress on a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

In addition, the ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission that visited the property from 9-12 December 2014 observed, inter alia, the lack of a specific management plan for the property and its buffer zone that is focused on the protection of OUV and its attributes. The mission also noted an opportunity to create an overall plan for the pond area that optimizes its links to the World Heritage property and sheds light on development around the pond. The State Party maintains that there is “no connectivity between the Ancient Panchi Pond and the historical buildings and the World Heritage property.”

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

As requested by the Committee, the State Party has provided information about the full scope of the Ancient Panchi Pond area project, including the Detailed Planning and Building Scheme for Construction Project of the Ancient Panchi Pond in the Buffer Zone of the World Heritage in Qufu (July 2015), the Conservation Planning for Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu document, and a HIA (August 2015). These documents will help significantly in ensuring that the attributes that support the OUV of the property, including its authenticity and integrity, are appropriately protected and managed.

The State Party expresses its regret that the correct procedures for this project (planning for which began in early 2009) were not properly followed with regard to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and indicates that it has put in place measures to avoid any future misunderstandings about the process. It is imperative that the State Party continues to fully inform the Committee about all future projects that may potentially affect the OUV of this property, including its authenticity or integrity, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse.

Concerning the few historical buildings that remain within the area in question, the HIA’s recommendation to follow the principles of “minimum intervention” and “in-situ conservation” is appropriate. As for the proposed new construction, according to the Detailed Planning and Building Scheme for this area, as revised in July 2015, the new buildings will largely imitate local residences of the Ming and Qing dynasties, their volume and height will not exceed that of Dacheng Hall in the Cemetery of Confucius, and the streets and lanes will remain as in the original layout. It is recommended that the State Party pay particular attention to the objective of making the features and styles of the newly constructed area compatible with that of the Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion. In particular, the stated intent to largely imitate local residences of the Ming and Qing dynasties should be carefully assessed in order to avoid the potential of falsifying history. It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to carry out HIAs, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the OUV, as a part of all future plans for major restorations or new construction projects.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.32

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.11, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Takes note of the full scope of information provided by the State Party regarding the comprehensive redevelopment of the Ancient Panchi Pond area that is underway within the buffer zone of the property;
  4. Also takes note with satisfaction of the submission by the State Party of the Detailed Planning and Building Scheme for Construction Project of the Ancient Panchi Pond in the Buffer Zone of the World Heritage in Qufu (July 2015), the Conservation Planning for Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu document, and a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) (August 2015), as requested;
  5. Urges the State Party to carry out HIAs, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), as a part of all future plans for major restorations or new construction projects, and to continue to inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, about any future projects that may potentially affect the OUV of the property, including its authenticity or integrity, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
  6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.