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Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

China
Factors affecting the property in 2002*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Earthen architecture conservation problems (issue resolved)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2002
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2002

Main issues:

Insufficient co-ordination of site management authorities and uncontrolled tourism development. Lack of a comprehensive management plan to ensure the conservation and sustainable development of the site.

New information:

A WHC staff member undertook an official visit to the property in November 2001. The mission noted that this World Heritage property consists of two parts, which are not contiguous.

The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor is a mound separated into two parts by a main road. The southern part of the Mausoleum mound has now been encroached upon by illegal construction of outdoor souvenir stands. The northern part contains a factory complex, private housing and plantations, all of which are within the protective buffer zone of the site.

New excavations in and immediately surrounding the Mausoleum have proven the existence of rich archaeological assets in both the protective core and buffer zones. The mission recommended that steps be taken to expand the boundaries of the World Heritage site and consider the relocation of the intrusive and illegal encroachment.

Enhancement of the site interpretation was also noted.  The Terra Cotta Warriors Museum Complex does not have clearly defined protective core and buffer zones. Recently, permission was granted for the construction of a new souvenir supermarket immediately outside the museum complex. The mission commended the high standard of conservation measures and efforts made to enhance site interpretation of the property.

However, the mission was informed that major site development and management decisions are taken without full consultation with the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, resulting with tourism development given priority to conservation needs. At the time of inscription on the World Heritage List in 1987, ICOMOS expressed serious concerns regarding the plans for constructing museums on site. ICOMOS, concluding that measures taken to protect the site were insufficient, recommended that a larger buffer zone be established.

Action Required

The Bureau encourages the Chinese authorities to:

  • Establish a comprehensive site management authority supported by both conservation and site development authorities. In particular, the Chinese authorities may wish to explore further the mobilization of the rich experience and human resources of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau to ensure that conservation needs are appropriately addressed while developing the site;
  • Elaborate a comprehensive management plan for this property, taking into due consideration existing management plans, regulations, heritage protection and preservation needs;
  • Expand the protective buffer zones of the Mausoleum taking into account the most recent archaeological discoveries; consider the relocation of intrusive elements outside the extended World Heritage protective zones;
  • Define the World Heritage protective core zone of the Terra Cotta Museum complex to include the three pits. Identify the rest of the museum complex and its surrounding area as the protective buffer zone with restrictions on new constructions.

The Bureau requests the World Heritage Centre to assist the Chinese authorities in the elaboration of a long-term comprehensive management plan for the property. The Bureau further requests that a progress report on measures taken to enhance the conservation and development of the property be submitted for examination by the Committee at its 27th session within the framework of the Periodic Reporting Exercise for the Asia-Pacific Region.”

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2002
26 COM 21B.41
Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (China)

The World Heritage Committee,

Takes note of the state of conservation report and decision of the Bureau contained in document WHC-02/CONF.202/2, paragraphs XII.78-83.

26 BUR XII.78-83
Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (China)

XII.78 The Secretariat informed the Bureau on the findings of the mission carried out to the property by a staff of the Centre in November 2001. The property consists of two parts: the Mausoleum mound and, 1.5 kilometers eastward, the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum.

XII.79    The Bureau’s attention was drawn to the insufficient co-ordination of site management authorities, uncontrolled tourism development and the lack of a comprehensive management plan to ensure the conservation and sustainable development of this World Heritage property.

XII.80    The Bureau was further informed that major site development and management decisions are being taken without full consultation with the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, which had resulted in tourism development being given priority over conservation needs.

XII.81    The Observer of China assured the Bureau that the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the local governments were placing importance on the management and protection of this site specifically following the recommendations of the UNESCO mission. The Bureau was informed that measures are being taken to expand the boundaries of the property. The Bureau was also assured that intrusive buildings and stands located within the protected core and buffer zones of the site would be relocated. The Observer of China expressed her Government’s appreciation to the World Heritage Centre for its support in mobilizing international co-operation and expertise to complement the national and local efforts in safeguarding this important World Heritage property.

XII.82    The Bureau recommended that the Government of China:

  • Establish a comprehensive site management authority, which would be supported by both conservation and site development authorities. In particular, the Chinese authorities may wish to draw on the rich experience and human resources of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau to ensure that conservation needs are appropriately addressed while developing the site;
  • Elaborate a comprehensive management plan for this property, taking into due consideration existing management plans, regulations, heritage protection and preservation needs;
  • Expand the protective buffer zones of the Mausoleum, taking into account the most recent archaeological discoveries and consider relocating intrusive elements beyond the extended World Heritage protective zones; 
  • Redefine the World Heritage protected core zone of the Terra Cotta Museum complex to include the three pits and identify the rest of the museum complex and its surrounding area as the protected buffer zone with restrictions on new constructions.

XII.83    The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to assist the Chinese authorities in the elaboration of a long-term comprehensive management plan for the property. The Bureau further requested that a progress report on measures taken to enhance the conservation and development of the property be submitted for examination by the Committee at its 27th session, within the framework of the Periodic Reporting Exercise for the Asia-Pacific Region.

The Committee is requested to take note of the decision of the Bureau (working document WHC-02/CONF.202/2, paragraphs XII 78-83). 

Report year: 2002
China
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)(vi)
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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