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Kizhi Pogost

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of the structures

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Legal framework (issue resolved); 
  • Governance (issue resolved);
  • Management systems/ management plan (issue resolved);
  • Financial resources (issue resolved);
  • Lack of fire /lightning protection (issue resolved);
  • Deformation and deterioration of the structures 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 2 (from 1992-2001)
Total amount approved : 38,540 USD
Missions to the property until 2003**

Summer 1993: ICOMOS mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

Following the request by the 25th session of the World Heritage Committee to elaborate « a work plan for the safeguarding of the site » and the approval of funds under emergency assistance, the “International Workshop on Kizhi Pogost and the Preservation and Conservation of Wooden Structures of the Church of the Transfiguration” was heldfrom 31 July to 5 August 2002, St. Petersburg - Kizhi Pogost.  It was organized by the UNESCO Chair in Urban and Architectural Conservation (Moscow), in collaboration with the UNESCO Moscow Office and the World Heritage Centre.

The extensive discussions during the workshop and the site visit to Kizhi Pogost resulted in a full report of the meeting and a document with recommendations, which was transmitted to the appropriate authorities and organizations and bodies, for consideration and follow-up. The recommendations concern the following points:

1.The presentations on the project of the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration enhanced the dialogue between the Russian and the international participants and the confidence of all in the careful, systematic and thorough approach in place for the conservation of this property. The care with which this project has been undertaken could provide useful lessons on the safeguarding of complex wooden structures, the promotion of the protection and conservation of wooden heritage in Eastern Europe, and for exemplary international co-operation involving different stakeholders, international organizations (UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, etc.) as well as national and international experts.

2.While recalling the resolution of the Novgorod Meeting (17 September 1999) to examine the possibility of inscription of Kizhi Pogost on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the participants noted that a multi-disciplinary project team has been assembled and is working actively on the project. There is an extensive restoration plan, which has received Government approval and funding.

3.The participants discussed extensively the state of conservation of the Church of the Transfiguration and the restoration project planned for it. The participants expressed their appreciation to the authors of the current project for the quality of analysis evident in their work, for their efforts to learn from the results of past interventions, for their efforts to work in continuity with the findings of the ICOMOS-Russian conservation plan of 1993-1995 and for their commitment to cautious approaches which would minimize the replacement of original material.

4.While expressing support in general for the approach proposed and its guiding philosophy, the participants expressed the need to be cautious in implementation and therefore propose: to ensure comprehensive monitoring of impacts of interventions described in detailed plans and to use a careful approach to ensure respect for the heritage values and a full re-examination of the basic principles and strategies of the adopted restoration approach; Concerning the question of chemical treatment of the logs, the World Heritage Committee and the Advisory Bodies are asked to provide general advice for the preservation of wood.

5.During the field visit to the site, the participants also reviewed the situation regarding the other buildings included in the site, and encouraged the Russian authorities to develop plans for the long-term maintenance of all wooden structures, in the World Heritage property and its environment, to ensure that the World Heritage values and the integrity of the site are preserved.

6.Concerning the surroundings of the World Heritage site, the participants were informed of ongoing conservation efforts for the 84 buildings comprising the Open Air Museum. They urged that the integrity of this unique landscape be maintained in its overall management.

7.It is recommended that reports on the progress of the project and its results, as well as the monitoring of the state of conservation be regularly transmitted to the World Heritage Committee. It is further recommended that the expertise and insights of the international experts, and in particular members of the ICOMOS International Wood Committee, involved with this site since 1988 be called to maintain the professional dialogue now in place.

8.The workshop suggested that a meeting of all Russian speaking World Heritage site managers and national co-ordinators be organized, in collaboration with the East European Centre of the countries of the CIS for the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, proposed by Russia.

9.The workshop proposed to extend the ICCROM digest of Kizhi international co-operation activities to include all Russian activities, the contribution of ICOMOS Germany relating to structural renewal and restoration of the iconostasis and a list of all documents available to be published.

10.In order to ensure regular update on activities and other necessary information on World Heritage to be made available to all persons involved, the participants recommended that the Moscow Office update the existing web site with Russian material and that the Russian World Heritage Committee take responsibility to maintain contact with all site managers. Furthermore, it was recommended that the Management Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Sites (Jokilehto/Fielden, ICCROM 1992) (translated into Russian), be published. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.74
Kizhi Pogost (Russian Federation)

The World Heritage Committee [43],

1. Recalling its decisions taken at the 25th extraordinary session of the Bureau in 2001 (Helsinki),;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the authorities of the State Party for their commitment to the preservation of the property;

3. Takes note of the report and recommendations provided by the International Workshop with regard to the future conservation of this property under threat;

4. Encourages the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to continue to collaborate and to closely follow the future development of the conservation works;

5. Requests the State Party to provide an updated report the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 on progress made in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004.

[43]  Decision adopted without discussion.

Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 74

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Recalling its decisions taken at the 25th extraordinary session of the Bureau,

2.Thanks the authorities of the Russian Federation for their commitment to the preservation of the site,

3. Takes note of the report and recommendations provided by the International Workshop with regard to the future conservation of this site under threat,

4. Encourages the State Party, the Centre and the Advisory Bodies to continue to collaborate and to closely follow the future development of the conservation works,

5. Requests the State Party to provide an updated report on progress made by 1 February 2004, for  consideration at its 28th session. 

Report year: 2003
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1990
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iv)(v)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)

* : 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.