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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.29
Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu (Japan) (C 972)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Expresses its solidarity with the State Party for the damage caused to the Shuri-jô site, a component part of the “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu” World Heritage property, by a fire on 31 October 2019;
  3. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party concerning the damage, emergency measures and restoration works already undertaken to recover the property, and commends the State Party for the efforts of the responsible national and local authorities to ensure the safeguarding of the property despite the difficulties encountered;
  4. Requests the State Party to implement a comprehensive recovery strategy for the property, including a restoration plan for the archaeological remains and the reconstruction of fire-damaged replica structures, in consultation with the relevant experts and in line with the national laws and regulations;
  5. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the damage caused by the fire and the proposed restoration works to be undertaken, as well as to examine other aspects of the state of conservation of the property;
  6. Welcomes the establishment of basic policies and a work schedule for the recovery, including the installation of strengthened fire prevention measures and the reconstruction of replica structures at the state hall, and further requests the State Party to integrate appropriate measures for multi-hazard risk reduction, including fire prevention, into the upcoming reconstruction plan for other replica structures, in line with the “Fire Prevention Guidelines for National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties (Buildings)” established by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and other necessary risk preparedness guidelines, and encourages the State Party to continue facilitating the participation of all stakeholders, including local communities, in the recovery process of the property;
  7. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the Committee at its 46th session. 
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision