Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Ukraine) (C 527bis)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1990
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/
Requests approved: 0
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
- Urban development pressure
- High-rise buildings that could compromise the panorama of the historical monastic Dnieper river landscape (built)
- Lack of legal protection and planning mechanisms
- Lack of management system and mechanisms of coordination between all stakeholders including the City Municipality
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/527/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016
On 29 January 2016, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of this property, a summary of which is available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/527/documents/ and highlights a number of issues:
- The lack of appropriate legal measures, protective and planning mechanisms has reached alarming levels and the State Party recognizes that the main problem is the unresolved issue of unauthorized constructions which represent the major threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
- Several natural factors affecting the property were identified, including the tectonic and seismic movement of the earth’s crust, flooding and potential threat of the emergence of landslide processes.
The report also addresses the progress made in the implementation of Decision 39 COM 7B.85, including:
- Approval of a draft decision “On Introduction of Temporary Ban (Moratorium) for the Construction and Sale of Land within Protective (Buffer) Zones in Kyiv” by the Kyiv City Council on 22 January 2015. According to this decision, the ban will be in effect until the approval of the Zoning Plan of the Central Planning Area of Kyiv within the unified buffer zone, which is still under development;
- Signature of a Memorandum and demolition of two floors of the new building at Desyatynnyi Lane 3-5 in the buffer zone of one of the components of the property, Saint-Sophia Cathedral. The construction of a multi-story residential complex with underground parking on the Honchara Str. 17-23 in the buffer zone of this component has been temporarily suspended;
- Submission of a draft Management Plan within a formal request to the World Heritage Centre to provide international expert assistance for its finalization;
- A number of conservation and restoration works were undertaken, including on the facades of the following monuments: the Consistory (the Bakery), the Refectory Church, the Bell Tower, the brick utility fence of the St. Sophia Cathedral, the Metropolitan’s Residence and St. Andrew’s Church. The project “Repair and restoration works on the walls of the National Conservation Area “St. Sophia of Kyiv” Volodymyrska Str. 24, Shevchenskivskyi District of Kyiv” will start in 2016.
Moreover, the State Party informed on the Rehabilitation Activities Plan for the Monastery economic courtyard of Kyiv-Pechersk Preserve, including the reconstruction of the vegetable storage facility and of the Fraternal and Economic buildings. The assessment of the impact of the reconstruction projects on the OUV of the property was made according to national legislation.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
Progress made by the State Party with regard to the Management Plan, which is currently in its final stage, is noted. Since the legal status of this document is undefined in the current Ukrainian legislation, the completion of the draft Management Plan is awaiting the national legislative amendments. The State Party therefore asked to postpone the deadline for the submission of the final version to the World Heritage Centre to 1 December 2016.
It is also noted that progress was made with regard to the decision of the Committee concerning the reduction of the height of the non-conforming and dissonant buildings in the buffer zone of the property. While the demolition of two floors of the new building at Desyatynnyi Lane 3-5 is welcomed, the State Party did not report on any measures undertaken to reduce the adverse effect on the property of the building on Klovsky Descent, completed despite the requests made by the Committee at its previous sessions.
Despite the Committee decision regarding the reconstructions undertaken and planned at the property, the State Party has developed a Rehabilitation Activities Plan for the Monastery economic courtyard of Kyiv-Pechersk Preserve, which includes further reconstruction of buildings. The proposed developments appear to have the potential to irreversibly damage the attributes that sustain the OUV of the property and to threaten its authenticity and integrity.
Despite many discussions by the Committee and assurances by the State Party, it is recommended that the Committee express its concern regarding the current situation, and particularly about planned reconstruction/construction works within the boundaries of the property which could result in deleterious impact on the attributes of OUV, as well as the lack of appropriate legal protection and planning mechanisms to protect the property, and about the unresolved issues of unauthorized constructions in the buffer zone and the wider setting of the property.
It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a Reactive Monitoring Mission to consider these issues, to assess the current conditions at the property, and to discuss how the protection and management of the property and the wider historic urban landscape of the city of Kyiv might be reinforced, and to advise on the finalization of the Management Plan. The Reactive Monitoring Mission could also review whether the property is faced with threats which could have deleterious impacts on its OUV and which might meet the criteria for its inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in line with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines.
Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.61
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
- Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.85, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
- Also recalling its concerns expressed every year since 2008 regarding the critical level of urban development reached since inscription and its cumulative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and the need for new tools to orient the development process towards sustainable development that protects the attributes of OUV;
- Also takes note of the efforts undertaken by the State Party which resulted in the demolition of two floors of the new building at Desyatynnyi lane 3-5 in the buffer zone of one of the components of the property, namely Saint-Sophia Cathedral and reiterates its request to the State Party to reduce the adverse effect of the high-rise building on Klovsky Descent by demolishing the already constructed levels to an appropriate scale;
- Notes with concern the Rehabilitation Activities Plan for the Monastery economic courtyard on the Far Caves of Kyiv-Pechersk Preserve and requests the State Party to immediately halt any ongoing or planned construction/reconstruction works and also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit relevant documentation, including Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), to the World Heritage Centre, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before any final decisions are made or any works start on major development projects within the property, its buffer zone and setting;
- Reiterates its serious concern about the longstanding threats to the property, such as the lack of appropriate legal protection and planning mechanisms, as well as the unresolved issue of unauthorized constructions in the buffer zone and visual vicinity of the property and planned reconstruction works within the boundaries of the property, which have deleterious effects on its inherent characteristics and could impact adversely on the property’s OUV;
- Further takes note of the State Party’s efforts with the development of the Management Plan and also requests it to finalize the Management Plan, with the assistance of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies if needed, and to submit the final version by 1 December 2016;
- Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess its current conditions, to discuss all sensitive issues regarding the protection of the historic urban landscape of the city of Kyiv, including reinforcement of the management system, and to assist with the finalization of the Management Plan, in line with the decisions of the World Heritage Committee and in accordance with the World Heritage Convention;
- Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 41st session in 2017, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.