1.         Megalithic Temples of Malta (Malta) (C 132ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1980

Criteria  (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/132/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-1981)
Total amount approved: USD 1,625
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/132/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

August 1994: UNESCO mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/132/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1995

During its eighteenth session, the Committee was informed of the very serious situation at this site: the collapse of a wall of the monument and the exploitation of big quarries adjacent to Mnajdra, the risk of collapse of a part of the Ggantija Temple and the general absence of surveillance of the site. By letter of 6 January 1995, the Centre transmitted to the Maltese authorities the request expressed by the Committee that all safeguarding measures should be undertaken without delay and that a detailed report on the actions carried out be provided by 1 April.

Having received no information by 1 April, the Centre requested the Permanent Delegation of Malta to UNESCO, by letter of 4 April, to inform whether they had received any direct information regarding the safeguarding measures.

Action Required

In the event that this information is not received by the Centre in time for its nineteenth session, the Bureau may wish to adopt the following position: "The Bureau expresses its regrets to the Maltese authorities that they have not responded to the requests of the Committee, and stresses the importance that the requested information be submitted to the Centre by 1 October 1995, so that the World Heritage Committee may evaluate the situation at its nineteenth session and take the measures it deems necessary.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1995

During its eighteenth session, the Committee was informed of the very preoccupying situation at the site: the collapse of a wall of the monument and extensive limestone quarrying adjacent to Mnajdra, the risk of collapse of a part of the Ggantija Temple, and the general lack of surveillance. By letters of 6 January and 13 July 1995, the Centre transmitted to the Maltese authorities the requests expressed by the Committee and the Bureau, to undertake the necessary safeguarding measures without delay and to provide a detailed report.

By letter of 7 September, the Permanent Delegation of Malta transmitted to the Centre a detailed report dated 4 September, from the Director of the Museums Department of Malta concerning the measures already undertaken, or being undertaken, to ensure the safeguarding of the site.

a) Mnaidra

Following consultations with the University of Malta and a group of experts regarding the necessary measures to be undertaken to reconstruct the partially collapsed parts of the Temple, and to prepare a future strategy to ensure the stability and conservation of the Megalithic Temples, public tenders for the work were issued. This reconstruction work should commence shortly and should be completed in 1996, at a cost of US$ 120,000. The Museums Department has also obtained the cancellation of a permit for limestone quarrying.

b) Ggantija

Following consultation with the University of Florence (Italy), measures to ensure the structural stability and the conservation of the temple, short- and long-term safeguarding work, including work on the walls, the protection of the floors, a visitors' parking area and the establishment of a buffer zone, should be completed in 1996, at a cost of US$ 60,000.

c) Hagar Ouim

Work amounting to US$ 150,000 has already commenced, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, for the development of an archaeological park at Hagar Quim and Mnajdra. Land has been expropriated and a dry-stone wall has been erected. Parking facilities are being constructed, situated sufficiently far away from the site to blend in with the environment, at a cost of US$ 180,000. Plans for a well-located interpretation centre are being studied.

 

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

The Bureau may wish to recommend to the Committee to adopt the following text:

"The Committee warmly thanked the Maltese Government and in particular the Minister for Culture, for the considerable financial support and manpower provided for the conservation of this World Heritage site, as well as the Museums Department for its continued commitment and for the quality and success of its work. The Committee, noting that a complete and coherent plan for the group of temples was under preparation and that these monuments will soon benefit from long-term conservation measures, congratulated the authorities. It requested them to keep the Centre informed by 1 April 1996, of progress accomplished."

Decision Adopted: 19 BUR VI.22

After having taken note of the Secretariat’s report, the Bureau expressed    its regrets that the Maltese authorities had not responded to the requests of the Committee, and stressed the importance that the requested information be submitted to the Centre by 1 October 1995, so that the World Heritage Committee may evaluate the situation at its nineteenth session and take the measures it deems necessary.

Decision Adopted: 19 COM VII.C.2.44

VII.44 Megalithic Temples (Malta) 
           Hal Saflieni Hypogeum (Malta)

The Committee was informed, during its eighteenth session, and the Bureau at its nineteenth session, of the very serious situation with regard to these monuments.

The Secretariat informed the Committee that since that time, the Permanent Delegation of Malta had transmitted a detailed report dated 4 September 1995 from the Director of the Museums Department of Malta on all the measures already undertaken or foreseen to ensure the long-term safeguarding of these sites, and indicating that high-level funding had been provided by the Government to finance this work.

The Committee thanked the Government of Malta and in particular the Minister of Culture, for the considerable financial and human commitment undertaken for the preservation of these prehistoric and protohistoric sites inscribed on the List, as well as to the Museums Department for its continued commitment and for the quality and success of its work. It congratulated the authorities on the complete and coherent management plan being undertaken and that the Megalithic temples are going to benefit from long-term preservation measures, whilst the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum should soon be reopened to the public. It invited the Maltese authorities to keep the Centre informed of progress accomplished, by 1 April 1996.