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Sacred City of Kandy

Sri Lanka
Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Terrorism
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 3 (from 1997-1998)
Total amount approved : 33,334 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: At its twenty-second session, the Bureau examined the reports from ICOMOS, the Secretariat and the Permanent Delegation of Sri Lanka, concerning the damage at the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, following the terrorist bombing in January 1998. The authorities of Sri Lanka were requested to submit a report concerning the progress made in the restoration work undertaken, for presentation to the twenty-second session of the Committee. To date, this report has not been received by the Secretariat. However, ICOMOS experts found during a monitoring mission in December 1998, that conservation and restoration works are progressing steadily. On the other hand, the World Heritage Centre has not received sufficient justification for the 1998 financial support for technical co-operation and promotional assistance for the Sacred City of Kandy site.

New information: ICOMOS monitoring missions to these three World Heritage sites were undertaken in December 1998:

ICOMOS experts reported that conservation and restoration works are progressing steadily at the Temple of the Tooth. In particular, the high level of management of the site by both conservation and administration teams was noted. Given the strong public support for the conservation policy including development control of the whole city, ICOMOS experts noted that the systematic approach applied to urban conservation in Kandy could serve as a model for other relevant areas in Sri Lanka.

Seventeen recommendations were made by the ICOMOS experts for enhancing the conservation and management of the site. These recommendations address: (a) the need to consult stakeholders and experts before the finalization and implementation of the comprehensive Master Plan; (b) the need to improve traffic and parking systems immediately surrounding the World Heritage site; (c) the need for better information dissemination concerning development guidelines by the local authorities; and (d) the need to redefine the core zone to include the Kandy Lake and Udawattakele which form an integral part of the site, and the buffer zone to include the mountain range of Walker Estate to preserve the skyline of the site.

Action Required

The Bureau, having examined the reports of ICOMOS, expresses concern over the state of conservation of the World Heritage sites of the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications, and the Golden Temple of Dambulla. The Bureau requests the Government of Sri Lanka to take urgent measures for enhanced conservation, presentation and management of these two sites, and to halt new construction which could undermine the integrity of the sites. In particular, the Bureau requests the Authorities of Sri Lanka to submit a technical co-operation request, with the assistance of the World Heritage Centre, to formulate a Development Plan for the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications. The Bureau, while commending the relevant authorities on the high level of management at the Sacred City of Kandy, requests that they continue their efforts to enhance the management of the site. The Bureau recommends that the authorities of Sri Lanka consider extending the core zone of the Sacred City of Kandy site to include the Kandy Lake and Udawattakele, and the buffer zone to include the mountain range of Walker Estate. Extension of the Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications to include the ancient harbour is also recommended.

The Bureau encourages the relevant authorities to consider the ICOMOS recommendations following its mission in December 1998. The Bureau requests the State Party to submit a report on the progress made in the restoration works at the Temple of the Tooth at Kandy by 15 September 1999, to enable reporting to the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 1999. Finally, the Bureau requests the State Party to submit a report on the progress made in improving the general management of all three sites, before 1 May 2000 for consideration by the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau in June/July 2000.”

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 BUR IV.B.78
State of conservation

Sacred City of Kandy (Sri Lanka); Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications (Sri Lanka); Golden Temple of Dambulla (Sri Lanka)

At its twenty-second session, the Bureau examined the reports from ICOMOS, the Secretariat and the Permanent Delegation of Sri Lanka, concerning the damage at the Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, following the terrorist bombing in January 1998.  The authorities of Sri Lanka were requested to submit a report concerning the progress made in the restoration work undertaken, for presentation to the twenty-second session of the Committee.  To date, this report has not been received by the Secretariat.  However, ICOMOS experts found during a monitoring mission in December 1998, that conservation and restoration works are progressing steadily.  On the other hand, the World Heritage Centre has not received sufficient justification for the 1998 financial support for technical co-operation and promotional assistance for the Sacred City of Kandy site.

ICOMOS monitoring missions to these three World Heritage sites were undertaken in December 1998:

23 BUR IV.B.79
Sacred City of Kandy (Sri Lanka)

ICOMOS experts reported that conservation and restoration works are progressing steadily at the Temple of the Tooth.  In particular, the high level of management of the site by both conservation and administration teams was noted. Given the strong public support for the conservation policy including development control of the whole city, ICOMOS experts noted that the systematic approach applied to urban conservation in Kandy could serve as a model for other relevant areas in Sri Lanka.

Seventeen recommendations were made by the ICOMOS experts for enhancing the conservation and management of the site.  These recommendations address: (a) the need to consult stakeholders and experts before the finalization and implementation of the comprehensive Master Plan; (b) the need to improve traffic and parking systems immediately surrounding the World Heritage site; (c) the need for better information dissemination concerning development guidelines by the local authorities; and (d) the need to redefine the core zone to include the Kandy Lake and Udawattakele which form an integral part of the site, and the buffer zone to include the mountain range of Walker Estate to preserve the skyline of the site.

Report year: 1999
Sri Lanka
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 23COM (1999)
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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