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Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur

Bangladesh
Factors affecting the property in 2004*
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Absence of photographic information and lack of action taken with regard to the “fragmentary terracotta plaques in the custodian’s house”

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Lack of capacity in conservation techniques; Lack of management mechanism (including legislation); Lack of monitoring system; Lack of human or financial resources.

Additional Details:

Deterioration of the authentic characteristics of the property

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2004
Requests approved: 2 (from 1986-2003)
Total amount approved : 55,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

Following the recommendation resulting from a second UNESCO mission in October 2002, the Government of Bangladesh reported in February 2004 that the moratorium regarding the conservation of the Paharpur Monastery has continued. Upon recommendation by UNESCO consultants, the photographs of terracotta plaques have already been given to the UNESCO Dhaka Office and their inventory is in progress as a precaution against theft and to facilitate future study.

 

With regard to the above-mentioned report of February 2004, ICOMOS commented that no reference had been made to the absence of photographic information and lack of action taken with regard to the “fragmentary terracotta plaques in the custodian’s house”, as reported by the UNESCO mission undertaken in March 2003. In these circumstances, the execution of the work foreseen by UNESCO cannot be evaluated. In addition, regarding the moratorium, ICOMOS suggested that its purpose be made clear to the authorities so that immediate measures be taken for regular inspection and remedial conservation action, as the moratorium could be used to delay or stop minor work being carried out at the property. 

 

Additionally, within the framework of the France-UNESCO convention, the French Government approved a 17,000 Euro project for the organization of a workshop to elaborate an archaeological research strategy on a long-term basis for the Paharpur Vihara. This Workshop took place in March 2004, aiming to evaluate the heritage values, review problems of site management and discuss how to sustainably conserve, preserve and promote the site. A coherent strategy for archaeological research, safeguard, conservation and management of the site was also defined. A draft workplan concerning the conservation of the terracotta plaques and the monument, site and environmental visitor management, and long-term strategies was proposed by the participants.

 

On 30 March 2004, the authorities of Bangladesh submitted two International Assistance requests: one for Training and one for Technical Co-operation for the Paharpur site. The Technical Co-operation request will be included in the working document for International Assistance to be presented at the 28th session of the Committee.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2004
28 COM 10A.1
International Assistance Requests (Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Noting that no funds are available in 2004 for consideration of technical
co-operation requests for cultural properties,

2. Also noting that the Bureau did not approve technical co-operation requests in advance on the 2005 budget (Decision 28 BUR 8.3),

3. Agreeing with the Bureau's recommendation not to approve requests in advance on the 2005 budget as it did at its last session in 2003 with regard to the use of the 2004 budget,

4. Decides that the following request:
Bangladesh : Study of the problems and monitoring of the internal moisture conditions of the monuments of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur, be submitted again in 2005 for decision by the Committee, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines in force at that time, provided that the State Party concerned has paid its contributions to the World Heritage Fund as at 31 December 2004.

28 COM 15B.53

The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined the state of conservation of the property, the progress made by the national authorities since the previous session of the World Heritage Committee, and the findings and recommendations of the two UNESCO missions in October 2002 and February 2003,

2. Encouraging the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to maintain efforts to plan and implement enhanced conservation measures for the property,

3. Decides to defer consideration for the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger until the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2005, in light of the findings and recommendations of the UNESCO missions, to enable the State Party to undertake corrective measures to reverse the negative impact of the work undertaken on the property;

4. Requests the World Heritage Centre, the UNESCO Dhaka Office, the Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific and the Advisory Bodies to provide technical support to the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures;

5. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2005, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress achieved in the implementation of the recommendations of the UNESCO missions for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005.

28 BUR 8.3
International Assistance requests

28 BUR 8.3

 The World Heritage Bureau, 

  1. Noting that no funds are available in 2004 for consideration of technical cooperation requests for cultural properties;
  2. Recommends that the Committee do not approve technical cooperation requests in advance on the 2005 budget; 
  3. Decides to approve, in principle, the request presented by Iraq: "Equipment for training on photogrammetry techniques for Iraqi experts", for an amount of US$ 30,000, on the understanding that an earmarked donation shall be made from a State Party to the World Heritage Fund in 2004 to support its implementation and expressing its concern regarding the fact that it had been asked to approve a contribution to an on-going programme which it had not approved, requests that similar cases should be avoided in the future; 
  4. Decides that the following requests:
- Uganda: "Kasubi Tombs World Heritage Property Uganda, Research Program on the thatched roofs"
- Morocco: "Elaboration of a management plan for Ksar Ait-Ben-Haddou"
- Sudan: "Elaboration of the Management Plan for Gebel Barkal and the properties of the Napatan region"

be submitted again in 2005 for decision by the Chairperson or the Bureau, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines in force at that time, provided the relevant States Parties have paid their dues to the World Heritage Fund as at 31 December 2004.

5.   Recommends to the Committee that the following request:

- Bangladesh: "Study of the drainage problems and monitoring of the internal moisture conditions of the monuments of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur"

be submitted again in 2005 for decision by the Committee, provided the relevant State Party has paid its dues to the World Heritage Fund as at 31 December 2004.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15B.53

 The World Heritage Committee,

 1.  Having examined the state of conservation of the property, the progress made by the national authorities since the previous session of the World Heritage Committee, and the findings and recommendations of the two UNESCO missions in October 2002 and February 2003,

 2.  Encouraging the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to maintain efforts to plan and implement enhanced conservation measures for the property,

 3.  Decides to defer consideration for the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger until the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2005, in light of the findings and recommendations of the UNESCO missions, to enable the State Party to undertake corrective measures to reverse the negative impact of the work undertaken on the site; 

 4.  Requests the World Heritage Centre, the UNESCO Dhaka Office, the Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific and the Advisory Bodies to provide technical support to the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures.

Report year: 2004
Bangladesh
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 28COM (2004)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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