Following the Decision of the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004), a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission took place in September 2004. The main aim was to assess the general state of conservation with particular reference to the management of the property, the infrastructure development in its immediate vicinity and the presentation of the property. Progress was subsequently reported on a number of the mission recommendations. However, the World Heritage Committee, in its Decision 31 COM 7B.112, urged the State Party to clearly define the boundaries of the property and its buffer zones, and to provide an updated report on the state of conservation of the property on all actions taken in response to the recommendations of the 2004 mission.
On 30 January, 2009, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the Valcamonica rock art sites together with a list of the 182 monuments, a map identifying their locations, as well as sample maps of six parts of the property.
Of the 2,400 engraved rocks, collectively located in the 182 locations noted in the 2005 management plan, the largest density of them occurs in the 6 mapped areas, spread over seven Archaeological Parks.
The mapping of all sites by the responsible official bodies is reported to be almost complete. This has involved an exhaustive scientific revision of the information and documentation, in addition to pursuing administrative and tutelage processes. When these processes are complete, the results of the mapping will be provided to the World Heritage Centre.
The State Party reports that the state of conservation of the engraved rocks is being constantly monitored by officials. In addition to routine maintenance of weed removal and cleaning paths and roads, conservation works have been carried out and coordinated inside the Parks with the aid of ministerial, regional and council funding. This unspecified work is stated to have followed the defined methodology and protocol as set out in the management plan.
A coordinated research programme has been developed and agreed with all appropriate organisations operating on the property, and has been forwarded to the World Heritage Centre as an enclosure to the management plan. On the submitted list of locations, 69 sites are noted as having been partly or entirely survey recorded, whilst the others have only been reported on and, at present, lack topographic survey documentation.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that:
· Progress has been made on the mapping of rock art sites towards the establishment of the boundaries of the World Heritage property and its buffer zones although the requested maps have yet to be completed and submitted;
· While some conservation work has apparently been carried out, details of this are not provided;
· A coordinated research programme has been submitted, and some progress with this is noted;
· Information has not been provided on progress made in the implementation of the other recommendations of the 2004 reactive monitoring mission report, in particular the following: to conduct a geo-chemical analysis to examine the effect of air and water quality on the rock surfaces as well as to monitor the extent of the red algae and exfoliation problems on the rock surfaces; to evaluate the effect of the use of chemicals and metal brushes in their conservation work and to consider alternative conservation methods; to engage in activities to enhance tourist experience and at the same time to raise public awareness including visitor education on rock art etiquette; to replace the metal walkway at Rock 27 by a wooden structure that will be in harmony with the surrounding landscape, using non-intrusive and reversible methods; and to consider rerouting the power lines in order to enhance the visual integrity of the property.