Decision : 39 COM 8B.39
Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape, Uruguay
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Documents WHC-15/39.COM/8B and WHC-15/39.COM/INF.8B1,
- Inscribes the Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape, Uruguay, on the World Heritage List as a cultural landscape on the basis of criterion (ii) and (iv);
- Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:
Located on land projecting into the Uruguay River west of Fray Bentos town, the industrial complex is marked by the enormous cold storage building and tall brick, boiler chimney which punctuate a range of saw-toothed roofs. Illustrating the whole process of meat sourcing, processing, packing and dispatch, the site includes buildings and equipment of the Liebig Extract of Meat Company which exported meat extract and corned beef to the European market from 1865 and the Anglo Meat Packing Plant which exported frozen meat from 1924. Here German research and technology combined with English enterprise to provide food for a global market including to the armies of two World Wars in the 20th century. Workers’ housing and social institutions which accommodated and supported the cosmopolitan workers’ community continue in use today.
Criterion (ii): Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape is evidence of the interchange of human values between European society and the South American population of the 19th and 20th century which effected social, cultural and economic changes in both places during that period. This was due the interchange on developments in technology which enabled the production and export of canned and frozen meat on a global scale and to the immigrant workers who arrived from more than 55 nations.
Criterion (iv): The ensemble of cattle pasture and handling facilities, industrial buildings, mechanical facilities, port facilities, residential fabric and green areas linking the river and agricultural areas to the city of Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape stands out as an example of early 20th century industrial development.
The property includes all elements related to the history of the site and the period of its operation and is of adequate size to ensure the complete representation of the features and processes which convey the property’s significance. The landscape setting is appropriate in size and views form the river and town are maintained. Some buildings are in need of repair and conservation but the site does not suffer from neglect overall.
The property is authentic in terms of location and setting, materials and substance and use/function in terms of the buildings which form part of the Museum of Industrial Revolution. The archive contains historical documents with technical information providing a source for repairs and restoration. Other buildings have been adapted for new uses and workers’ housing has been upgraded to provide more modern accommodation for families now living there, many of whom have a connection with the property through family members who worked there. Authenticity is vulnerable to proposed new development within the property including new uses for buildings and sites as well as new construction.
Protection and management requirements
The property is protected as a National Historic Landmark under the Heritage Act No. 14.040, August 1971 as amended in 2008 and the Regulatory Decree 536/72. Objects owned by government agencies and non-state corporations are protected under Act No. 17.473, 9 May 2002. The Acts are administered by the National Cultural Heritage Commission.
The property has been managed at site level by the Anglo Management Committee since 2008 with input from representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Educational Affairs; Ministry of Housing, Land Use Planning and Environment and the Municipality of Rio Negro. This body is responsible for the implementation of the Property Management Plan 2012-2015, which was approved by the National Cultural Heritage commission in January 2014.
- Recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:
- Raising the legislative protection of the entire buffer zone to the highest level;
- Completing arrangements for representation of the volunteers, local industrial enterprises and social organisations on the Anglo Management Committee;
- Also recommends the State Party to complete the Management Plan as proposed to include:
- the inventory of the machinery;
- the inventory/database as a basis for monitoring and conservation and maintenance;
- the research plan for industrial and underwater archaeology with provision for findings to be integrated into future management, education and interpretation;
- the comprehensive conservation plan related to the inventory/database to deal with repair and maintenance needs;
- provision for impact assessments of all new management planning proposals including new uses for existing buildings and new buildings within the site in line with Paragraph 110 of the Operational Guidelines;
- guidelines for interventions to industrial and residential buildings;
- extension of the monitoring system to relate to the inventory/database of the property;
- Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2016, a report on the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017.