1.         Churches of Moldavia (Romania) (C 598bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (i)(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/598/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/598/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/598/

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 31 January 2011.

a) Physical Condition

The report provides an individual overview of each of the churches, including a summary of the physical condition, its state of repair and restoration or other remedial work in progress.

In general, there are problems common to all structures including water penetration, biological occurrence and associated increased humidity levels, as well as masonry and/or plaster damage and some decorative mural deterioration. 

The report provides brief information on the proposed actions to be undertaken to conserve and protect each monument. The State Party reports that funds have been included in the 2011 National Restoration Plan, with the exception of the Church of the Annunciation of the Moldovita Monastery, for which European Union funds have been secured.

Structural problems are particularly noted at the Church of the Raising of the Holy Cross and the “Saint George” Church of the “Saint John the New” Monastery from Suceava. Repairs are necessary on the roofs of the Church of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist from Arbore, the Church of Saint Nicholas of Probota Monastery and the “Saint George” Church of the “Saint John the New” Monastery from Suceava, the Resurrection Church of the Sucevita Monastery.

There is no reference to a proposed conservation laboratory which was addressed in the World Heritage Committee Decision 33 COM 8B.35.

b) Management

The State Party briefly reports that the Cultural Direction of Suceava inspects and monitors activities within the protected zone of the property. In December 2010 the Romanian Legislation approved a General Plan for the Protection and Management for UNESCO monuments. The State Party indicates that for each UNESCO World Heritage property there will be a coordinator nominated and a Coordination Committee formed.

As a protective measure, the World Heritage Committee previously requested that planning for the management of tourism at the Church of Sucevita be undertaken. This has not yet been submitted for consideration. The State Party notes increased visits to several of the sites, including the need for a parking lot and control over graffiti. There is also no indication in the State Party’s report of control or planning in regard to tourism impact. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that the management plan has been finalised with the provision of the programme of planned conservation work. The implementation of the work and corrective measures should provide all properties with better physical conditions. They also note with concern that the water penetration and other structural problems have led to some deterioration of the mural paintings. They consider that more information should be provided on this specific conservation issue.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies had previously requested that the “actual functioning of the Coordination Committee” be provided, however this has not been clearly defined. The definition of tourism development plans for any of the components of the property, and particularly for the Suceviţa monastery, has also not been mentioned. 

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.102

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 8B.39, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the actions being taken to implement corrective measures and encourages the State Party to continue its important conservation programme;

4. Requests the State Party to provide more specific information on the threats to the wall paintings and measures to be taken to address these threats;

5. Recognises the efforts made by the State Party to enact national legislation for the protection of the property and reiterates its request to define the function of the Coordinating Committee, which is essential for effective management;

6. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to establish a practical plan for the reception and control of visitors in the vicinity of the monastery of Suceviţa and also requests that tourism planning mechanisms be included as part of the management plan;

7. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to keep the World Heritage Committee informed about architectural projects pertaining to the conservation laboratory and other potential developments in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

8. 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 on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.