Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2005
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/1170/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 9,348
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
May 2009, 2012: joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1170/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013
The State Party has not submitted a state of conservation report. The ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission that visited the property from 13 to 21 February 2012 had expressed concern over significant weaknesses in protective legislation and regulation at regional and national level and in the management of the property. The planning system does not allow for rigorous examination of new development with regard to its impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, the attributes of which seem poorly identified. Consequently since 2005, 35 new developments had been constructed in the property and its buffer zone without the benefit of Heritage Impact Assessments; in addition, these had not been submitted to the World Heritage Centre in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. New buildings were often inconsistent in scale, materials and massing with the cityscape’s Neo-classical radial urban plan and the 18th century town planning, cited in the criteria for inscription.
The mission report identified as particularly concerning the greatly enlarged scale of the reconstruction of the Cathedral of the Assumption, which had gone ahead despite protests from professional and civil organisations and which had resulted in the destruction of important archaeological features; this would be more worrying still if the planned reconstruction of the bell tower were to go ahead. This, it was considered, would have an irreversibly adverse impact upon the skyline of the property. A new hotel planned within the vicinity of the cathedral was judged as inappropriate in height and design.
The conservation of the property, while impressive in scale during the 2008-2010 preparations for the 1000th anniversary of the city’s foundation, nonetheless suffered from the lack of a consistent strategy underpinned by research and guided by a conservation plan.
The World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) noted the recommendations of the mission report and urged the State Party to improve the management system for the property, develop a Management Plan and conservation strategy and appoint a property manager. The Urban Master Plan and Traffic Plan should be completed, and legislation, regulation and guidance should be strengthened to ensure the compatibility of new development with the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. New development proposals should always be supported by Heritage Impact Assessments and should be accompanied by appropriate archaeological recording.
The World Heritage Centre was informed by the UNESCO Moscow Office that draft amendments to the Federal Law on Cultural Heritage of the Russian Federation have been introduced by the Russian Government following the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee. It was also informed that a Round-Table on implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the Russian Federation had taken place on 21 March 2013 organised by the Cultural Committee of the Russian Duma in Moscow further to a request of the World Heritage Committee to review the legal framework for the protection of World Heritage in the Russian Federation. The World Heritage Centre is in contact with the Russian authorities concerning further details on these matters.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
As no state of conservation report has been submitted since 2009, the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies have no further information beyond that detailed in the 2012 mission report. In the report, it was noted that some development had been halted and the mission report urged a reconsideration of some of the new constructions. It is impossible to know whether or not this reconsideration has taken place and whether developments have continued. The apparent lack of management structure and lack of expert input from professional conservation bodies is also a cause for concern.
The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies note the steps made by the State Party to address the legal framework as requested by the Committee.
Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.81
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add,
2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.84 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a state of conservation report in 2012 or 2013 despite the requests of the Committee at its 35th and 36th sessions and that therefore the concerns raised by the 2012 reactive monitoring mission have not been addressed;
4. Urges the State Party to strengthen the national and regional legislative and regulatory protection for the property and its buffer zone;
5. Also urges the State Party to improve the management structure of the property and its buffer zone, produce a Management Plan and consider appointing a site manager with an appropriate advisory board with representation from national and regional professional conservation bodies;
6. Notes the significant number of conservation projects undertaken on the property since 2008 but considers that a Conservation Strategy for the property, appropriate conservation guidance underpinned by research and archaeological recording would result in more consistent and better quality results;
7. Reiterates its concerns that new development with inappropriate scale, height and mass, or incorporating non-traditional materials, imposes a particular threat to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property inscribed for its importance in town planning and spatial relationships between buildings;
8. Strongly reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, details of any proposed developments, including those said to have been halted in 2012, that may have an adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, accompanied by heritage impact assessments, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;
9. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and progress with the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.