The Secretariat informed the Bureau that information from various sources was received concerning the on-going demolition of the traditional buildings in the Shöl area (administrative district of the Potala Palace) which forms part of the World Heritage protected area inscribed in 1994. The beautification of the more prominent buildings, as with many other historic areas in Asia, for conversion into souvenir shops and tourism facilities, was leading to the decrease of residential use and undermining the authenticity of the site.
The Bureau noted the efforts being made by the national and local authorities in promoting public awareness for the use of traditional building material and conservation methods to preserve the original architectural features of the site, as reported to the twenty-third session of the Bureau. The Bureau however, expressed concern over reports on the transformation of the historic characteristics of the Shöl area, the former administrative area whose history is inseparable from the Potala Palace. Whilst recognizing the importance of tourism and the need for adequate facilities for visitors, the Bureau requested the State Party to maintain the authenticity of the area and provide a report on the renovation plan of Shöl to the Secretariat by 15 September 2000 for examination by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau.