The World Heritage Committee has examined the state of conservation of Lima in two prior occasions, noting the absence of a management coordination unit to coordinate all actions implemented at the place by the agencies and different levels of government. The lack of information on the implementation of the Master Plan was also underscored. A report on conservation issues at the property raised by NGOs was received by the World Heritage Centre during 2008. The evaluation on the information provided raised concerns that several interventions were being carried out or projected that could have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value, authenticity and integrity of the property. Information was requested to the State Party on these projects during 2008, as per Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
On 11 January 2009, the State Party submitted information on projects pertaining to the Municipal Theatre, Corredor segregado for metropolitan Lima, the Cable Car, the Metropolitan Museum and the Casa de las Trece Puertas and Casa del Rastro. Due to impact that these interventions may have on the property, the World Heritage Committee decided to examine the state of conservation of the Historical Centre of Lima.
a) Municipal Theatre
In August 1998, the Municipal Theatre one of the most symbolic buildings, was severely affected by a fire. Assessment at the time indicated that significant damages occurred in all decoration but that no structural damage of importance was evidenced. In 2001 an integral plan for interventions at the Theatre and the surroundings was presented by a private consortium, which included architects and structural engineers. Within the framework of the project, a new assessment was carried out and structural damages were identified, which apparently precluded the restoration of certain elements and justified the need for reconstruction. In 2003, the National Institute of Culture (INC) issued a directorial resolution approving the project, including the intervention for the façade. No further information is provided to elucidate whether the project is being implemented or if it was finalised.
b) “Corredor segregado de alta capacidad” project
The project is related to the creation of corridor for high capacity urban transport. It was presented originally in 2005. In October 2008, a final Directorial Resolution did not authorise the project. The Protransport Metropolitan Institute submitted a new project proposal in November 2008, in which revisions were made according to the observations of technical bodies throughout the process. In December 2008, the National Technical Commission for Architecture and Urbanism, dependent on the INC, made a series of technical observations to the presented proposal. No additional information is presented on the current status of the project and whether the Resolution of October 2008 that does not authorise the project will be respected.
c) Cable car project
In 2006, the Lima Municipality requested the approval for the construction of a cable car to join two parks (La Muralla and Malecon del rio) with the Cerro de San Cristobal to both create a tourism attraction and to facilitate transportation for local inhabitants in those areas. The cable car will have an extension of 1.43 km and apparently will go over some parts of the Historic Centre and the area currently inscribed in the World Heritage List. However, the maps are not very clear and the actual area cannot be identified. Also, although images were included to assess the potential impact of the cable car on the visual integrity of the place, their low quality make that impossible to ascertain. Given that significant archaeological remains exist in La Muralla Park, no infrastructure works are foreseen there but rather in areas where modern infrastructure has already been developed. In January 2008, the INC approved the project by Directorial Resolution and in consideration of the technical assessment of the National Technical Commission for Architecture and Urbanism. No further indications are provided on the current status. Also no impact assessment studies for the project have been sent.
d) Metropolitan Museum
Information submitted only includes a brief project sheet. The objective is to remodel 11,300m2 of the building where the Ministry of Transport and Communications currently operates. The museum will include six exhibit areas, focused on the heritage of Lima, and will also house the Municipal Library and the historic and film archives of the city. No technical specifications for the interventions or projected architectural views are provided and no indication on whether the project has been authorised was included, which makes it difficult to evaluate the impact of the project in the historical building.
e) “Casa de las Trece Puertas and Casa del Rastro”
The report describes two projects to be undertaken in the block 05076 located next to the park la Muralla and located within the historical centre. The block 05076 includes five houses, among them Casa de las siete puertas and Casa del rastro whose intervention projects were outlined. Approval was granted for the interventions at Casa de las Trece Puertas in November 2004 to recover the building as a cultural space in the first floor and offices in the second. No detailed information on the project or its actual status was included.
The Casa del rastro, is part of the Municipal Programme for the Integral Urban Renovation of Lima, financed by the Municipal Fund for Urban Renovation. It is being developed in a participatory process including the inhabitants of the place. The programme focuses on improving the quality of life on current inhabitants at the historic centre with the renovation of housing developments almost in derelict state. The first phase of the project focuses on block 05076 and specifically in Casa del rastro, an area of approximately 2500 m2, where 71 housing spaces were developed, in very close location to the central monumental area. Prior to the construction, archaeological research was carried out. The architectural projections included in the report show a very modern building
The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS remain concerned about the impact that the mentioned projects may have on the historic centre. The World Heritage Centre requested in February 2009 additional information on the state of conservation of the property in order to assess in detail any possible impacts of the proposed projects by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.