1.         Royal Palaces of Abomey (Benin) (C 323bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1985-2007

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/323/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1985-2014)
Total amount approved: USD 118,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/323/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/323/

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

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.

Decision Adopted: 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:
  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.