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Historic Town of Ouro Preto

Brazil
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Fire

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Uncontrolled development of buildings (issue resolved);
  • Risks of a landslide (issue resolved);
  • Opening of roads (issue resolved);
  • Need to improve the traffic flow and the drainage of run-off water (issues resolved)
  • Lack of a comprehensive conservation plan
  • Problems related to national and international tourism
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 5 (from 1991-1999)
Total amount approved : 99,009 USD
Missions to the property until 2003**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

The Management Plan of the Historical Centre was finalized in 1996 but was never implemented. The UNESCO Office in Brasilia and Caixa Economica Federal held a seminar on Urban Cultural Heritage from 28 July to 2 August 2002, which focused on recent legislation regarding urban policy and its application for cultural heritage in Brazilian cities, especially those on the World Heritage List. Reference was made in the working documents to the poor state of conservation of Ouro Preto as well as to the lack of administrative and institutional resources. The participants produced a document (Motion to Preserve Ouro Preto) requesting a co-ordinated action for its integral preservation.

Following this meeting, an ICOMOS monitoring mission took place from 8 to 13 April 2003. In its preliminary conclusions, sent to the Secretariat on 18 April 2003, ICOMOS declared that there is no clear definition of the core zone and buffer zone of the nominated area. Institutional difficulties had been detected between the Municipality and the Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) for the implementation of the Historical Centre Management Plan. The IPHAN is responsible for the protection of the area under nomination, however it does not have the required resources, neither technical nor financial, to fulfil that task. The revision of the Management Plan should be finalized by the end of 2003. As a result of a specific study carried out by the Municipality, truck traffic cannot drive through the historic centre. The IDB has begun several interventions via the MONUMENTA project. The historic centre retains a homogeneous image, however some interventions on historical buildings have transformed the original indoor distribution. The urban development in peripheral areas seems to be more problematic, especially the development registered on the hills around the centre, which distort the original urban landscape, which is one of the reasons justifying the inscription of Ouro Preto on the World Heritage List. Two days after the completion of that mission, the Secretariat was informed that a fire destroyed one of the 18th century historical buildings situated in Tiradentes Square. This damage highlights the lack of an Emergency Plan in such circumstances. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.87
Historic Town of Ouro Preto (Brazil)

The World Heritage Committee [52],

1. Commends the State Party for having requested a monitoring mission;

2. Expresses concern for the damage caused by the 15 April 2003 fire, which destroyed an 18th century building in the historical centre of Ouro Preto;

3. Urges the State Party to take risk-preparedness measures and to include them in the management plan of the property;

4. Urges the State Party to define a core zone and a buffer zone for the nominated area by 15 October 2003 and to finalize the revised management plan;

5. Requests the State Party to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004.

[52]  Decision adopted without discussion.

Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 87

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Commends the State Party for having requested a monitoring mission,

2. Expresses concern for the damage caused by the 15 April 2003 fire, which destroyed a 18th century building in the historical centre of Ouro Preto,

3. Urges the State Party to take risk-preparedness measures and to include them in the Management Plan of the site,

4. Urges the State Party to define a core zone and a buffer zone for the nominated area by 15 October 2003 and to finalize the revised Management Plan,

5. Requests the State Party to submit a report by 1 February 2004, for consideration at its 28th session, in June 2004. 

Report year: 2003
Brazil
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)
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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