1.         Tower of Hercules (Spain) (C 1312)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2009

Criteria  (iii)

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/1312/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1312/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Urban and outer urban development

b) Tourism pressures

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1312/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 27 January 2011, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report which addresses the concerns raised by the Committee at the time of inscription as well as how the State Party will deal with each of them. The State Party has indicated that a commitment of 3 million euros has been made for the ongoing conservation, monitoring and presentation work at the property.

a) Relationship between Tourism Consortium and Tower Management Plan Monitoring Committee

According to the report, the function of the Management Plan Monitoring Committee is to improve control and monitoring of the management of the property. It is made up of key institutions, and coordinates the activities of all agencies. The Tourism Consortium is only one of the agencies which the Monitoring Committee works with. Any plans by the Tourism Consortium or other stakeholders must be approved by the Monitoring Committee.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies welcome the setting up of the Monitoring Committee. Given its important role in the protection of the site, it would be useful to have a more detailed description of its mandate, composition, and activities.

b) Production of a more comprehensive and detailed management plan, to be examined by the World Heritage Committee in 2011

The State Party has submitted to the World Heritage Centre a comprehensive management plan, which forms part of a larger Master Plan for the property. The Advisory Bodies will review the management plan and send any comments to the State Party, which will then need to ensure that the plan is approved and implemented by the relevant authorities.

c) Scientific responsibility for the future museum and visitor centre

The State Party has indicated that professionals from the Municipality of La Coruña, those related to the Management Plan Monitoring Committee, and those involved in drawing up the management plan will hold the scientific responsibility for the future museum and visitor centre. The municipality has indicated that it has established a temporary reception centre until the permanent visitor centre is completed.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies take note of the scientific responsibility of the Municipality professional staff for the museum and visitor centre. They suggest, however, that the responsibilities and the job descriptions are clearly defined to ensure that the staff has the necessary background and training in order to carry out the work.

d) Installation of permanent monitoring of the hygrometry in the rooms associated with water infiltration and condensation phenomena, and planning of the measures for ventilation and possibly limiting visits

The State Party indicates that action has already been taken to deal with the problem of moisture in some of the rooms. The State Party considers that there is no need to limit visits at this stage.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that this problem is being dealt with but strongly recommend an ongoing monitoring whether to ensure that the humidity remains at an acceptable level and in order to decide whether further measures will be necessary.

e) Development and strengthening of control over urban and outer urban development in the buffer zone

The State Party reports that there are currently no activities or urban developments planned, both in the property or its buffer zone. The Municipal Council has pledged to strengthen the monitoring of the setting surrounding the tower.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the comments about the property and its buffer zone but underscore the need for the wider setting of the property to be protected beyond the buffer zone. Urban growth was identified as one of the main threats at the time of inscription linked to lack of building space in the urban area of the city of La Coruña. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies have taken note of all the activities outlined by the State Party concerning the protection of the property. The creation of the Management Plan Monitoring Committee is seen as a positive step as well as the completion of the management plan. It will now be crucial to ensure its implementation as well as the setting up of an ongoing monitoring programme, not just at the level of the physical conservation of the tower, but also of the tourist and urban pressures which may have a negative effect on the property. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies underscore the need for the wider setting of the property to be protected beyond the buffer zone. 

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.108

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 8B.27, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Takes note of the measures taken by the State Party for the protection of the property, in particular the setting up of a Management Plan Monitoring Committee and the development of a management plan;

4. Requests the State Party to ensure, through the Management Plan Monitoring Committee, the implementation of the management plan and the monitoring of the physical condition of the tower, in particular its relative humidity;

5. Notes the financial resources that the State Party is providing for the protection of the property;

6. Also requests the State Party to provide detailed information on the mandate, composition and activities of the Management Plan Monitoring Committee as well as on the Municipality professional staff holding the scientific responsibility for the future museum and visitor centre;

7. Further requests the State Party to ensure that both tourist and urban planning pressures are also included in the overall monitoring programme for the property;

8. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, an updated report on the state of conservation and information on the above and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed about any future developments, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.