1.         Historic Town of Ouro Preto (Brazil) (C 124)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1980

Criteria  (i)(iii)

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/124/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1991-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 99,009
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/124/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/124/

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. 

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


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.87

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.