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World Heritage Convention

Decision 23 BUR IV.B.81
Golden Temple of Dambulla (Sri Lanka)

ICOMOS experts reported on the state of conservation of the site and its buffer zone, including information on the improved infrastructure around the site.  However, ICOMOS experts expressed concern that no conservation work has been carried out at the Golden Temple since the site’s inscription on the World Heritage List, which has resulted in the general deterioration of the monument.

ICOMOS experts recommended that immediate intervention be arranged.  ICOMOS experts made eight recommendations for improved conservation and management of the site, including the removal of the newly constructed temple that is alien to the World Heritage complex.

The Bureau, having examined the reports of ICOMOS, expressed concern over the state of conservation of the World Heritage sites of the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications, and the Golden Temple of Dambulla.  The Bureau requested the Government of Sri Lanka to take urgent measures for enhanced conservation, presentation and management of these two sites, and to halt new construction, which could undermine the integrity of the sites.  In particular, the Bureau requests the Authorities of Sri Lanka to submit a technical co-operation request, with the assistance of the World Heritage Centre, to formulate a Development Plan for the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications. The Bureau, while commending the relevant authorities on the high level of management at the Sacred City of Kandy, requested that they continue their efforts to enhance the management of the site.  The Bureau recommended that the authorities of Sri Lanka consider extending the core zone of the Sacred City of Kandy site to include the Kandy Lake and Udawattakele, and the buffer zone to include the mountain range of Walker Estate.  Extension of the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications to include the ancient harbour was also recommended.

The Bureau encouraged the relevant authorities to consider the ICOMOS recommendations following its mission in December 1998.  The Bureau requested the State Party to submit a report on the progress made in the restoration works at the Temple of the Tooth at Kandy by 15 September 1999, to enable reporting to the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 1999.  Finally, the Bureau requested the State Party to submit a report on the progress made in improving the general management of all three sites, before 1 May 2000 for consideration by the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau in June/July 2000.

Decision Code
23 BUR IV.B.81
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
1999 Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple
Context of Decision