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Royal Palaces of Abomey

Benin
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Absence of a national legislative mechanism for the protection of cultural heritage (issue resolved)
  • Major deterioration of almost 50% of the earthen structural components (issue resolved)
  • Lack of presentation and interpretation at the site (issue resolved)
  • Lack and loss of documentation on the site (issue resolved)
  • Lack of sharing of knowledge between site managers and among authorities (issue resolved)
  • Need to distinguish between the site museum and the World Heritage site (issue resolved)
  • No conservation or safeguarding measures have been undertaken at the site following the 2012 fire 
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount granted: USD 450,000 from the Government of Japan and from the Riksantikvaren (Norwegian Cultural Heritage Directorate)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 6 (from 1985-2014)
Total amount approved : 118,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

May/June 2004 and February 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS missions; February 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / CRAterre-ENSAG / Getty Conservation Institute monitoring mission; December 2012: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS / ICCROM reactive monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 31 January 2014, in accordance with Decision 37 COM 7B.46, adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013), the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the Royal Palaces of Abomey, which is available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/323/documents./

The State Party reports that rehabilitation and conservation work has been completed on the Houegbadja Palace (affected by the fire in 2012) and on the northern part of the museum. The first draft of the new management plan was finalized in December 2013 and is being implemented during a transition period of 6 months in order to refine it and finalize the evaluations of the previous management plans. In line with the recommendations made by the joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission to the property in December 2012, the State Party has included a chapter on the new reconstruction policy for the property within the new management plan, which divides the property into four categories: museum, interpretation centre, artisan centre and a space for the conservation and promotion of intangible cultural heritage related to the property. Following a one-month training workshop organized by the African World Heritage Fund in February 2013, the State Party has elaborated a Disaster Risk Management Plan for the property. Since then, staff is undergoing ongoing risk preparedness training with the involvement of royal families and local communities in order to support conservation efforts and promote the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that a report to the Committee is not necessary at this stage, in order to provide more time to the State Party to evaluate the previous conservation and management plans and to finalize the new conservation and management plan.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.98
Omnibus Decisions

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Takes note with satisfaction of the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value of the following World Heritage properties:
  • Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic),
  • Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments (Russian Federation),
  • Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados),
  • Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena (Colombia),
  • Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico),
  • Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay),
  • Royal Palaces of Abomey (Benin),
  • Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia),
  • Aapravasi Ghat (Mauritius);
  1. Encourages the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of World Heritage properties;
  2.  Reminds the States Parties concerned to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of a property, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Draft Decision:          38 COM 7B.98

The World Heritage Committee,

  1.          Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2.          Takes note with satisfaction of the measures taken by the States Parties concerned to address its previous requests to mitigate the threats on the Outstanding Universal Value of the following World Heritage properties :
  • Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic),
  • Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments (Russian Federation),
  • Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison (Barbados),
  • Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena (Colombia),
  • Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico),
  • Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay),
  • Royal Palaces of Abomey (Benin),
  • Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia),
  • Aapravasi Ghat (Mauritius);

3.           Encourages the States Parties concerned to pursue their efforts to ensure the conservation of World Heritage properties;

4.           Reminds the States Parties concerned to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course about any major development project that may negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value of a property, before any irreversible decisions are made, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Report year: 2014
Benin
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 1985-2007
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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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