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Gelati Monastery

Georgia
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Other Threats:

    General need for interior and exterior conservation work on the monuments

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • General need for interior and exterior conservation work on the monuments
  • Major reconstruction of the structure of Bagrati Cathedral (completed)
  • Insufficient coordination between the Georgian Church and the national authorities (issue resolved)
  • Lack of co-ordinated management system (issue resolved)
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Irreversible interventions as part of major reconstruction of the structure of Bagrati Cathedral

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

November 2003, June 2008, March 2010, April 2012: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions; October 2014: ICOMOS technical evaluation mission to Gelaty Monastery; January 2015: ICOMOS Advisory mission

 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 30 January 2015, in conformity with the Paragraph 190 of the Operational Guidelines, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/710/documents/. The report addresses progress on conservation activities at the Gelati Monastery, such as the architectural rehabilitation of the Church of the Virgin, emergency conservation works on mural painting in the Dome of the Church of the Virgin and rehabilitation of St. Nicolas stairs, including conservation works of the East wall of the King David’s gate. An ICOMOS Advisory mission was invited by the State Party, jointly with a World Bank expert, to assess the appropriateness of the recent structural reinforcement of the main dome with a ring beam.

The World Bank program that started in 2012 is still continuing. Within this program, a construction of the Visitor Centre outside Gelati Monastery, agreed in 2012, will start in 2015.

The State Party reports that a stone quarry located in vicinity to the Gelati Monastery indirectly impacts the site. In January 2015, the Memorandum on Mutual Cooperation was signed between the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia and the mining companies aiming to limit the movement of heavy vehicles adjacent to Gelati Monastery.

The State Party indicates that the Management Plan is under preparation and planned to be completed in May 2015.

The State Party also reports that, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013), a Major Boundary Modification for the property to set out a justification for Gelati Monastery to satisfy the criterion for inscription on its own was submitted by the State Party on 1 February 2014 and will be examined by the Committee at its 39th session in 2015.

The elaboration of a draft national law on World Heritage is ongoing within the framework of the EU funded project TWINNING “Support to the institutional development of the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia” and will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for comments.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The continuing conservation programme at Gelati Monastery and the significant funding that has been allocated from international donors, as well as by the State Party, are noted. It should also be noted that a visitor center will be built, in line with the recommendations of the Advisory Bodies.

The ICOMOS Advisory mission to the Gelati monastery complex, carried out in consultation with a World Bank expert, considered that no further reinforcements to the upper part of the main dome of the Holy Mother Birth Church should be necessary. However it stressed the need for consolidation work on the walls that support the dome and for more exploration to be undertaken of the critical connection between the base of the drum and the building underneath. The mission also recommended short and long term actions (such as surveys and models) in order to understand fully the implications of the recent interventions to the dome and to allow interventions to be defined to guarantee the safety of the building. It also stressed the immediate necessity for a permanent monitoring system for the dome. It is noted that the new draft Management Plan will be finalized in May 2015 and will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies. The activities towards the elaboration of a national law on World Heritage are welcome.

As stated by the World Heritage Committee in Decision 37 COM 7A.32, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013) due to the inappropriate rehabilitation, the authenticity of Bagrati Cathedral has been irreversibly compromised and it no longer contributes to the justification for the criterion for which the property was inscribed. The Major Boundary Modification for the property requested by the Committee has been submitted in the timeframe suggested.

It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee retain the Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Georgia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger, until the Major Boundary Modification for the property is examined.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.40
Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Georgia) (C 710)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.16, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the progress made in the implementation of the conservation programme plan for Gelati Monastery;
  4. Notes the information provided by the State Party inter alia on the implementation of the recommendations of the ICOMOS Advisory mission and the revision of Management Plan for Gelati Monastery, which will be presented to the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2016 in the framework of the significant boundary modification;
  5. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  6. Decides to retain Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Georgia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8B.35
Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, Georgia

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC-15/39.COM/8B and WHC-15/39.COM/INF.8B1,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.32 adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013);
  3. Refers the major boundary modification of Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, Georgia, back to the State Party in order to allow it to:
    1. Clarify management procedures and responsibilities of the various agencies and organisations involved;
    2. Provide details as to how a higher level of commitment might be put in place by the major stakeholders to ensure adequate protection and management of the property;
    3. Submit the revised draft Management Plan for review;
    4. Provide a timetable for when physical and visual protection for the buffer zone will be formalised and when clear guidelines and guidance for management and any development within the buffer zone will be put in place;
  4. Recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:
    1. Giving urgent attention to providing adequate resources for long-term programmes of restoration for the fabric of the monastery and its mural paintings;
    2. Avoiding further reconstruction work particularly on the excavated ruins north of the Academy building;
    3. Developing a clear system of documentation for any conservation and restoration work;
    4. Putting in place tri-dimensional measuring and monitoring to help gain a better understanding of the overall stability of the various buildings in the monastery;
    5. Submitting any future proposals for a visitor centre, or new visitor arrangements, or for new accommodation for monks, to the World Heritage Committee for examination, at the earliest opportunity and before any commitments are made, in accordance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7A.40

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.16, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the progress made in the implementation of the conservation programme plan for Gelati Monastery;
  4. Notes the recommendations of the ICOMOS Advisory mission and requests the State Party to implement them fully to ensure the stability of the main building;
  5. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  6. Decides to retain Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Georgia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Georgia
Date of Inscription: 1994
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Danger List (dates): 2010-2017
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
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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