UNESCO and Italy agree to cooperate on the restoration of Pompeii
UNESCO and Italy have agreed to collaborate on the restoration of the Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1997. International attention turned to the World Heritage site in late 2010, when torrential rains led to the collapse of several vestiges including the Schola Armaturarum (Gladiators' House) and the equally famous House of the Moralist.
According to the agreement, signed by Assistant Director-General for Culture, Francesco Bandarin on the morning of 29 November, UNESCO will provide expert advice to the Italian government on ways to improve the property's conservation, in keeping with the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee. UNESCO's contribution to the restoration will be financed by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.
"This agreement is the result of a long-standing cooperation between UNESCO and Italy in support of the conservation of World Heritage" said Mr Bandarin who also described the safeguarding of the site of Pompei as a "complex endeavor."
The agreement foresees collaboration over a period of nine months which may be extended.
The Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, contains the vestiges of two flourishing cities and numerous villas that were engulfed in ashes and lava when Mount Vesuvius erupted on 24 August 79 AD, leaving the site buried until the beginning of excavations started in the middle of 18th centuries.
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,
2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 8D, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),
3. Notes with deep concern the collapses that occurred at the property in November 2010 and urges the State Party to address the underlying conditions that have contributed to the collapses, as a matter of urgency;
4. Also notes the conclusions of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS advisory mission to the property that while the collapses in November 2010 did not compromise the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, nevertheless the underlying conditions could threaten the Outstanding Universal Value if they remain unaddressed in the short term;
5. Deeply regrets that neither the World Heritage Centre nor the mission were informed about the construction of a large concrete building north of the Porta di Nola at the Pompei portion of the property and also urges the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with detailed information on this project for review;
6. Requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre regularly and in due time about any building project planned in the vicinity of the property in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
7. Also requests the State Party to give priority to work programmes dealing with the backlog in conservation and management of the property and to:
a) review the management plan to include a public use plan and risk management plan as well as provisions to regulate and control development at the vicinity of the property,
b) ensure that there are adequate qualified staff and contractors for the restoration and maintenance of the property,
c) develop and implement measures to monitor conditions and use of the property, including the updating of the Geographic Information System (GIS) for Pompei,
d) design and install effective drainage systems,
e) identify and secure the required technical and financial resources in order to carry out an effective programme of conservation and maintenance of the property;
8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value by 1 February 2012;
9. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission during 2012 in order to assess the progress achieved in implementing the measures outlined above;
10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of ascertained or potential danger to the Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.Read more about the decision