Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.


Asante Traditional Buildings

Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Financial resources
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Insufficient resources available for the conservation of fragile Ashanti buildings
  • Need for conservation and management plans for the entire site
  • Important restoration work carried out without any serious scientific, documented research
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 1 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved : 47,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1999**

February 1997: expert mission financed by CRATerre - EAG, at the request of the World Heritage Centre

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberation:

Twenty-first extraordinary session of the Bureau  - Chapter III.C.c.

Satisfied with the results of the in-situ pilot training activity and recognising the need to reformulate the conservation plan to involve the local populations, the Bureau congratulated the Ghana authorities and encouraged them to prepare a conservation plan for entire site.


New information: This WHC programme was continued in 1998, reinforced by a technical assistance provided by the French Embassy in Ghana which allowed to:

•  continue the implementation of preventive conservation measures on all sites,

•  restore Besease shrine and open it to the public

•  launch an awareness and promotional campaign

•  also involve local communities, and the university

In 1999, the French Embassy funded activities, which aimed at:

•  the reinforcement of the awareness and promotional activities,

•  the establishment of the management committee for the Besease Shrine, which includes representatives of local communities,

•  the evaluation of the needs in terms of regular maintenance for all the buildings,

•  a preliminary research programme for the restoration of the bas-reliefs.

Three French companies have provided funds for the publication of a booklet, based on the exhibition presented in Besease. The booklet has officially been launched by the “Asantehene” (the King of Asante) and the French Ambassador. A first set of 1500 copies will be provided to GMMB regional office, as a way of reinforcing the revolving fund already established with the edition of postcards and T.Shirts. Benefits of these sales, together with the fees collected at Besease are a first step towards sustainability, but the current revenues remain too low and a serious increase of visitors is still required to attain full sustainability.

Much has been achieved over the last three years. However, the situation of the property remains quite fragile as it suffers regularly from heavy rains, calling for continual maintenance in a systematic way. This should be carried out within the framework of an overall management plan which would particularly focus on finding sources of revenues for its implementation, based on the evaluation of a full year of activity of the Besease Shrine as a financial resource, new possible (and desired locally) development/investments.


Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 COM X.B.46
State of conservation reports of cultural properties noted by the Committee

X.46 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) and included in Annex VIII of this report on the following properties:

Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (Argentina and Brazil)

The Jesuit Mission of Santa Ana (Argentina)

The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)

City of Quito (Ecuador)

The Delegate of Ecuador informed the Committee that the volcano Pichincha had erupted on 5 October and November 26 1999 and that the National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INPC) and the Municipality of Quito had taken preventive measures to protect the population and the monuments.

Historic Centre of Tallin (Estonia)

Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)

Roman Monuments, Cathedral and Liebfrauen Church in Trier (Germany)

Ashanti Traditional Buildings (Ghana)

Churches and Convents of Goa (India)

Luang Prabang (Laos)

Island of Mozambique (Mozambique)

Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal)

The Observer of HMG of Nepal assured the Committee that the conservation of the Maya Devi Temple would be undertaken following international conservation norms prescribed by the World Heritage Convention. He informed the Committee that HMG of Nepal would be grateful to receive expert suggestions from UNESCO concerning the draft conceptual design for the Maya Devi Temple conservation work, as such advice would be a guideline for elaborating the details of the design under preparation. The Observer assured the Committee that the designs for the works at Maya Devi Temple, once completed, would be transmitted to UNESCO, as assured by HMG of Nepal. The Observer informed the Committee that a technical cooperation request for the organization of an international technical meeting to discuss the proposed project for the conservation, restoration, and presentation of the Maya Devi Temple, would be submitted, following the request of the Bureau at its twenty-third session.

Archaeological Site of Chavin (Peru)

City of Cuzco (Peru)

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)

The Observer of the Philippines assured the Committee that the long-term integrated development plan of the site, including a tourism development plan for the site, would be submitted in due course to UNESCO, preferably before 15 September 2000. To ensure that the authenticity and sustainable conservation of this fragile site is maintained, the Observer stated that his Government would avail of the generous offer of the Committee to provide technical expertise under the World Heritage Fund.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)

The Sokkuram Grotto and Pulguksa Temple (Republic of Korea)

Alhambra, Generalife and Albaycin, Grenada (Spain)

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

The Observer of Turkey thanked the Bureau for the sympathies expressed for the victims of the earthquake this year. The Observer stated that Istanbul is the only one among the nine World Heritage sites in Turkey located in the region impacted by the August 1999 earthquake. While the damage can only be measured over time, initial assessment has noted minor cracks in several historic monuments including the Hagia Sophia, and four museums. Severe cracks have, however, been noted in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the conservation laboratory which is housed in an historic monument, in two historic library buildings, and in more than ten tombs as well as in the city walls (ramparts). The Committee was informed that the impact report of the second earthquake (in November 1999) on World Heritage sites had not been received by the Ministry of Culture of Turkey from its regional offices. The Observer said that a detailed report would be submitted to the Committee through the Secretariat as soon as it is completed.

With regard to the urban conservation plan of the historic peninsula of Istanbul, the Observer informed the Committee that the 1/5000 scale plan has just been completed and submitted to the Greater Istanbul Council and upon approval, will be transmitted to the Regional Conservation Council for clearance. As soon as this is officially approved, the 1/1000 scale plan will be prepared for the Fatih and Eminonu municipalities. In addition, the 1/500 scale detailed conservation plan for the Zeyrek district prepared by Istanbul Technical University, which was co-funded by the World Heritage Fund is about to be completed, and will be submitted to the Fatih Municipality for approval. The Observer thanked the UNESCO World Heritage Centre for having mobilized international support for the conservation of Istanbul's urban heritage, and in this regard, expressed particular appreciation for the financial support extended by the European Commission and the Government of France.

The Observer concluded her intervention by saying that due to the need to finance earthquake rehabilitation activities, the budget of all government services had been severely cut, including that of the Ministry of Culture. While on-going joint conservation projects with the municipalities of Istanbul will be continued, no expansion in the area of work or additional activities will be possible for 2000.

The Delegate of Greece called upon the Committee to provide support to Turkey in the rehabilitation of the earthquake damage. In this regard, she recalled her statement at the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau, which pointed to the need to prioritize the object of international support in view of the vast conservation needs of the Istanbul World Heritage area. The Chairperson, in his personal capacity stated that this spirit of collaboration and solidarity expressed by Greece in favour of Turkey was a demonstration of the spirit of the World Heritage Convention.

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

“The Bureau notes with satisfaction the progress achieved for the improvement of the state of conservation of the property, and the efforts undertaken for the development of promotional activities, and its attempts to generate revenues to achieve sustainability. However, it requests the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board to proceed with the preparation of an overall management plan as soon as possible and report to the Committee at its twenty-fifth session.”

Report year: 1999
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (v)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 23COM (1999)

* : 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.