1.         City of Cuzco (Peru) (C 273)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (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/273/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 45,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/273/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

July 2009: Technical visit DIR/WHC; December 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Need for a Master Plan officially approved and implemented;

b) Need for specific regulations for a risk-preparedness programme, traffic restriction studies and regulations for built heritage conservation;

c) Planned infrastructure projects (i.e. the Monastery Hotel, Commercial Centre Ima Sumaq and the Marriot Hotel)

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/273/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property on 2 February 2010. As requested by the World Heritage Committee, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission was carried out from 12 to 19 December 2010. The mission report is available online at https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/35COM.

a) Projects at the property: Monastery Hotel, Commercial Centre Ima Sumaq and Marriot Hotel

The State Party submitted technical information on the projects at the property which were also evaluated by the reactive monitoring mission. Regarding the Monastery Hotel project, it consists of the restoration and rehabilitation of the Beaterio de las Nazarenas and new construction at an adjacent lot. The State Party reports that several modifications were made to the original proposal presented in 2003 in order to meet current heritage conservation regulations; subsequently it was approved both by the Municipality of Cuzco and by the Ministry of Culture and is currently being implemented. The mission reports that interventions have been carefully supervised with attention given to the materials, techniques, and original space; and concludes that the monument conserves its characteristics and conditions of integrity and authenticity. It also notes that efforts have been made to preserve architectural remains of historic value and that new construction does not visually affect or compete with the historic ensemble.

With regard to the Marriot Hotel project, it consists of the re-adaptation of the former convent of Saint Augustine for a hotel. The project has also had several adaptations based on the need to carry out archaeological research. The mission noted that the project is on-going and is currently focusing on the archaeological excavation. It reported that the building had been abandoned without any maintenance and has suffered from transformations throughout history, therefore very little of the original colonial building remains. It reports that works have been closely monitored and that artefacts and architecture have been preserved for future presentation and that the project proposal will not impact the original volumes or the urban fabric of the Historic Centre. 

As for the Ima Sumaq Commercial Centre, the State Party reports that the property is considered of contextual value in accordance with the Master Plan for Cuzco. It notes that the construction failed to meet standards for rehabilitation and disregarded recommendations made by the Ministry of Culture. The project has currently been halted. The Mission reported that inadequate interventions have physically affected the archaeological remains and that new additions have also visually impacted the building. It does note however that corrective actions can be implemented to reverse the negative results. 

b) Management system

The State Party provided information on the status of management arrangements. The Ministry of Culture, through the Cuzco Regional Cultural Directorate and the Cuzco Provincial Municipality are mandated to protect, conserve and present the property. Currently the Committee for implementing Cuzco’s Historical Centre Master Plan (COPLAN) is the participatory entity involved in diverse actions at the property defined in accordance to the Plan. Based on collaboration agreements, a Coordination Board and a Technical Secretariat have been set up and have been charged with updating the Master Plan. No precise information is provided on how these arrangements are currently operating or on the expected process and timeframe for the requested review of the management plan. 

The mission reports that the Master Plan is well developed and that regulations are comprehensive to control and regulate activities at the different sectors through zoning and land use. However, it notes that implementation has only been partial and through pilot projects that have not triggered holistic interventions nor have they addressed pressing concerns such as housing, improvement of living conditions or enhancement of public areas. It also reports that in spite of the definition of roles in the Master Plan, in practice there is an institutional dualism and no continuity has been given to the created entities (Coordination Board and Technical Secretariat) so the management unit is not effectively operating as such.

c) Other issues

The State Party provided an analysis of existing conditions at the property and the processes currently affecting it, including the loss of the local population due to increased tourism activities, reduced quality of living, and changes in land use. This has led to the deterioration and abandonment of historic buildings and to the transformation of the city with new construction and changes to the urban fabric. Additional problems exist with waste management, sewage grids, basic services such as water and electricity, traffic and pollution. Tourism activities continue to be largely unregulated and have increased speculation and changes in land use. The report also provides additional information on the actions currently being implemented, including dissemination and awareness raising actions, education, heritage inventory and assessment projects and intervention projects at diverse historic buildings.

The mission noted that although the general state of conservation of significant buildings is overall good, urban degradation and gentrification are a matter of concern for the property. These phenomena are largely related to the legalization of property titles and by the lack of implementation of comprehensive urban policies. It also reports that immediate measures are needed to effectively define a buffer zone and enforce regulations to ensure the protection of the surrounding landscape. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that although emblematic historic buildings are generally in a good state of conservation, other significant component parts of the property have continued to decay. They also emphasize the important urban degradation that continues to exist and the limited effort implemented to provide affordable housing and improve living conditions, which continues to exacerbate the gentrification of the property. They recommend that the World Heritage Committee indicate that if the situation remains unaddressed, further impacts to heritage areas could threaten the attributes of the property and its setting that sustain the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.  

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.133

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.115, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the implementation of prior decisions by the World Heritage Committee and requests it to fully set up the Coordinating Board and Technical Secretariat for the management of the property and to secure the necessary resources for their effective operation;

4. Notes the results of the December 2010 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and endorses its recommendations and also requests the State Party to:

a) Update the Management Plan to include a comprehensive public use plan and provisions to address urban degradation and gentrification,

b) Implement a process for the regularization of property titles,

c) Enforce regulations to control changes to land use and new development, particularly at the property's buffer zone,

d) Develop and implement a policy for social housing including financial mechanisms to improve living conditions and the recovery of historic buildings at popular sectors,

e) Continue to monitor existing restoration and rehabilitation projects at the Monasterio Hotel and the Marriot Hotel and implement actions to reverse the negative impacts generated by the Ima Sumaq Commercial Centre;

5. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, 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 37th session in 2013.