The State Party provided the World Heritage Centre on 1 November 2006 with a project document for the restoration of the Patriarchate of Peć Monastery. The project was transmitted to ICOMOS for review and evaluation. The report includes background, description of the state of conservation, justification of the project, literature and reports used, graphic attachments and description of the works.
A UNESCO intersectoral mission to Kosovo (16-19 January 2007) which included a cultural heritage staff from the UNESCO Venice Office, visited two of the four monuments of the World Heritage property, the Dečani Monastery and the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša, as special concerns were expressed for these two monuments.
The mission noted that :
a) The Dečani Monastery and the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša are presently under the control of KFOR Troops while protective measures are expected to be implemented (by high fencing and barbed wire). KFOR Troops in cooperation with local police forces are patrolling the site occasionally;
b) A medium-term plan for the restoration of wall paintings and conservation and rehabilitation of the properties is being prepared within the overall programme of UNESCO activities related to the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Kosovo;
c) In the particular case of Dečani, the Executive Decision No 2005/5 of the SRSG of UNMIK on the Special Zoning Area does not allow for any construction, reconstruction, industrial or commercial activity, including exploitation of forest, water and mineral resources, without a dully issued authorization approved by UNMIK;
d) The required works on the roof of Ljeviša are completed.
The State Party informed the World Heritage Centre by a letter dated 27 January 2007 that unplanned construction of secular facilities has started, within the protection zone around the Dečani Monastery complex.
The State Party by a letter of 2 March 2007 sent to the World Heritage Centre the report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage property, and mentioned difficulties to access the site. It indicated that the Serbian law for the protection of the cultural heritage is not applied. Concerning the specific situation of the property it stated:
a) Dečani Monastery: The protection zone of the monastery is threatened by illegal constructions. There were improvements for different parts of the monastery as was foreseen in the nomination dossier, including the plan for the restoration of the walls and the installation of a fire-protection system; long-term works are going on, for the entrance and the sculpture decoration, for the examination of the state of conservation of the frescos, the plan of reconstruction of the tower in the entrance of the monastery, etc;
b) Patriarchate of Peć Monastery: Conservation works in the façade and wall paintings of the façade as well of the church of the Virgin are being undertaken. On-going works of the second part of the plan of protection and presentation of the churches of Peć, with the construction of the surrounding wall and conservation of wall-paintings of Daniil’s Narthex; a list of works to be started is also mentioned, e.g. the conservation works of the wall-paintings of the Churches of Saint Dimitri and Holy - Apostoles;
c) Gračanica Monastery: The consolidation of the imperial doors and the iconostasis was completed. On-going works for the preparation of plan of the Episcopal court, arrangements of the place of nun quarters and of the plan of fire protection are being carried out; A list of works to start is indicated, such as conservation works of frescoes, works in the entrance and the surrounding zone of the church, preparation of the static plan of the church, etc;
d) Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša: illegal construction developed within the protection zone and very close to the Church. The Director of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments requested to stop this illegal construction; A list of works were carried out, such as removal of the damaged parts and lead covering on the roof, cleaning and conservation of fixings of the walls of the bell-tower, positioning of the lead cover on the cupola of the bell-tower,repair of the cross on the bell-tower, rebuilding of the ceiling of the bell-tower, rough-casting of the walls of the vault of the bell-tower with withdrawal of the damaged rough coat, cleansing of the floor of the bell-tower, positioning of the windows,manufacture of timber construction of the gallery and the staircase, rough-casting of the interior parts of the walls of the church with withdrawal of the damaged rough coat.
The Cultural Heritage Law of 9 October 2006 of the Assembly of Kosovo and the Regulation No 2006/52 is also noted. As this law mentions in point 6.4 that “Architectural monuments under temporary or permanent protection shall have a Protective Zone which is 50 metres from the perimeter of the monument” and at point 7.15 “The radius of a Protective Zone shall be 100 metres from the perimeter of the protected archaeological heritage site”. The World Heritage Centre considers that this protection zone is not sufficient for the protection of the World Heritage property and its different parts. Taking note of the Executive Decision of UNMIK No 2005/5 of 25 April 2005 on a Special Zoning Area – Dečani it is highly recommended that special care should be taken for the other three sites of the World Heritage property with provision of an appropriate protection zone and putting in place strong protective regimes for buffer zones.
The World Heritage Centre received a letter from the State Party dated 4 April 2007 concerning the grenade attack to the property which took place on 31 March 2007. The authorities state that this was the fourth time that Dečani Monastery was the object of terrorist attacks. The Director-General of UNESCO condemned the act in a press statement and the UNESCO Office in Venice is planning a mission to the property in May 2007 to evaluate any damages to the property.