1.         Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing (China) (C 881)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1998

Criteria  (i)(ii)(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/881/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/881/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

October 2005: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Urban development pressure;

b) Tourism pressure;

c) Lack of documentary evidence and clearly formulated principles to guide the conservation works. 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/881/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

The World Heritage Committee during its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007), reiterated its request to the State Party to implement the recommendations made by the reactive monitoring mission of October 2005, and in particular to:

a) Develop appropriate Conservation Master Plans, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, integrating components on risk-preparedness and tourism management, for the World Heritage properties of the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace in Beijing,

b) Carry out a comparative study on the restoration of polychromy and ways to ensure its authenticity within East Asia in collaboration with countries such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam;

On 30 January 2009, the State Party submitted the state of conservation report requested by the World Heritage Committee.

a) Conservation Master Plan

The report notes that Tsinghua University has completed a conservation plan for the World Heritage Temple of Heaven, and that Tianjin University prepared a Conservation Master Plan for the Summer Palace, both of which give emphasis to risk preparedness and tourism management. Both plans are being reviewed and will shortly be submitted to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. The report also notes that the authorities responsible for the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing have completed preparation of an Outline of the conservation plan on the World Heritage Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing, and that this has been forwarded to the World Heritage Centre for review by the World Heritage Committee.

b) Comparative study on the restoration of polychromy

The report also notes that from 29 October to 2 November 2008, an International Seminar on Conservation of Painted Surfaces on Wooden Structures in East Asia was organized by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS, ICCROM, Beijing Municipality, the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage and ICOMOS China. 50 participants from 11 countries participated, and prepared the Beijing Memorandum on the Conservation of Caihua in East Asia. The Chinese authorities have followed up this meeting by sending delegations to East Asia countries such as Viet Nam and Cambodia, to communicate lessons and experiences gained in the seminar.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would note that the seminar mentioned above, contributes greatly, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session, to strengthening “the theoretical framework on which are based conservation decisions, notably as regards issues of authenticity, for World Heritage properties”. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the progress with the development of Conservation Master Plans for all three properties. These should be submitted in due course for review. In the framework of the forthcoming periodic reporting exercise for the Asia Pacific region, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will provide assistance to the State Party to formulate Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for the three properties.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 33 COM 7B.69

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.78, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Expresses its appreciation for the organization of the International Seminar on Conservation of Painted Surfaces on Wooden Structures in East Asia (29 October - 2 November 2008), carried out in order to improve knowledge on the restoration of polychromy within East Asia, as well as to strengthen the theoretical framework for conservation decision-making, notably in relation to the authenticity of World Heritage properties;

4. Notes the special efforts of the State Party to strengthen conservation of the World Heritage properties in Beijing, including the development of conservation plans for the World Heritage properties of the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace in Beijing, and the Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties;

5. Requests the State Party to provide three printed and electronic copies of each of the three Conservation Master Plans to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.