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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7B.56
Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands (Russian Federation) (C 632)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.32, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes the recommendations of the July 2015 ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property and requests the State Party to give high priority to the implementation of its recommendations;
  4. Acknowledges the positive steps taken by the State Party to address the decisions of the Committee, notably the revisions undertaken so far to the legislative and regulatory measures;
  5. Considers that the draft retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property should fully reflect the complexity of this property, its attributes and resources, namely the pilgrimage routes and monastic roads, and the complex irrigation systems with its lakes and visual axis, and its overall cultural landscape;
  6. Recalls its previous concerns regarding the inappropriate location of the Museum Complex and urges the State Party to immediately halt its construction, remove the parts already constructed, and consider a more appropriate design and location for the Museum, and to report progress to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2016, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Also requests that the construction of the airport building be halted and the project reconsidered;
  8. Expresses its concern about the poor state of conservation of the monastic irrigation system, with its lakes and canals, pilgrimage routes and vernacular timber buildings, and the degree of rebuilding of monuments, and further requests the State Party to elaborate a Conservation plan for the overall property, to adequately plan and implement conservation measures, and meanwhile to refrain from reconstruction or conjectural rebuilding which threatens the authenticity of the property;
  9. Also urges the State Party to revise the Master Pan of the Solovetsky Archipelago, and the Development Plan so that they define the limits of development, and set parameters to ensure that land use and development reinforce the OUV of the property;
  10. Requests furthermore the State Party to revise the Management Plan so that it is based on the OUV and its attributes, and takes a cultural landscape approach, and to submit the revised plan to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  11. Invites the State Party to inform it, through the World Heritage Centre and in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, of any intention to undertake or authorize major restoration, conservation, and/or development projects which may affect the OUV of the property, as soon as possible and before making any decisions;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision