1.         City of Cuzco (Peru) (C 273)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/273/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 45,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/273/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

 Urban Pressure; Lack of capacity in conservation techniques; Lack of management mechanism (including legislation).

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/273/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

The Secretariat received a progress report by the State Party on 30 January 2004 comprising a copy of the Master Plan, a report on the “Emergency Evaluation of Buildings in the Historic Centre” and a copy of section II of the Periodic Report of 2004 for this property.


The Master Plan suggests a redefinition of the limits of the property, a modification of the land uses related to certain services provided and an improvement of the housing policy within the centre of Cuzco. A public awareness campaign has been foreseen aimed to improve the knowledge of the historical values of the city. The Master Plan has not yet been approved.


A World Heritage Centre mission to Cuzco, which took place from 23 to 27 October 2003, discussed the decision of the Committee at its 27th session in which the Cuzco authorities were requested to finalize the Master Plan. In spite of the measures taken by the municipality to control the development of tourism, it continued to produce high levels of “noise and visual pollution”, as a clear consequence of this development. The mission, after having visited the place of Sacsahuamán, suggested that the authorities submit an extension of the inscribed area, providing protection measures to safeguard this site against the current problems of tourist invasions. This archaeological site is cultural-historically connected to the city of Cuzco.


ICOMOS reviewed the “Report on the Emergency Evaluation of Buildings in the Historic Centre” and commented that the document was an account of the emergency survey carried out following the heavy rains in February 2003, which were overseen by a Multisectoral Committee composed of representatives of the National Institute of Culture, the Provincial Municipality of Cuzco, the group responsible for preparing the Master Plan, the National Institute for Civil Defence, and the National University “San Antonio Abad” of Cuzco.


The evaluation, which was considered to be a provisional study, consisted of visits to properties that concentrated on emergency measures such as shoring, roofs, drains, temporary covers, etc. It resulted in the preparation of technical recommendations for emergency action, which were widely distributed locally. Standard recording forms were prepared, with a numerical grading system for damage. A total of 1275 properties were assessed, of which the majority (700) were graded as being moderately at risk, 275 as being seriously endangered, and 60 in an emergency condition. Forms were prepared for the last group with recommendations for action, including cost estimates.


In its conclusions the report identified the main problem as being lack of maintenance, either because of lack of resources on the part of owners or because of legal problems relating to ownership. Deliberate neglect of historic properties was discovered in some cases. The effect of heavy traffic was also seen as a cause of deterioration. The report recommended the programmed monitoring of maintenance work and the banning of vehicular traffic from certain streets. A strong recommendation was made that the use of reinforced concrete should be prohibited in the historic centre of the town.


ICOMOS strongly supports the immediate implementation of the report's recommendations. The methodology used should form the basis for a risk-preparedness programme for incorporation into the eventual Master Plan, which should also include other aspects such as the restriction of vehicular traffic and the prohibition of reinforced concrete. The Secretariat shares the opinion of ICOMOS concerning the report on the Emergency Evaluation of Buildings in the Historic Centre.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.119

The World Heritage Committee, 1. Taking note of the progress report transmitted by the State Party (Decision 27 COM 7B.98), 2. Commending the State Party for the report on the Emergency Evaluation of Buildings in the Historic Centre and recommending immediate implementation of its recommendations, 3. Requests the State Party to finalize the Master Plan and to create provisions for it to be put into action with specific regulations for a risk-preparedness programme, traffic restriction studies and regulations for construction materials prohibiting the use of reinforced concrete; 4. Invites the State Party to consider the possibility of nominating the archaeological site of Sacsahuaman as an extension of the Cuzco property that is already inscribed; 5. Further requests the State Party to submit by 1 February 2005 a report on the progress made in the above recommendations for consideration of the Committee at its 29th session in 2005.