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Medieval Monuments in Kosovo

Serbia
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Civil unrest
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Unsatisfactory state of conservation and maintenance of the property

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  1. Lack of legal status of the property;
  2. Lack of legislative protection of buffer zones;
  3. Lack of implementation of the Management Plan and of active management;
  4. Difficulties to monitor the property due to political instability, post-conflict situation (visits under the Kosovo Stabilisation Force / United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (KFOR / UNMIK) escort and lack of guards and security);
  5. Unsatisfactory state of conservation and maintenance of the property.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  1. Lack of legal status of the property;
  2. Lack of legislative protection of buffer zones;
  3. Lack of implementation of the Management Plan and of active management;
  4. Difficulties to monitor the property due to political instability, post-conflict situation (visits under the Kosovo Stabilisation Force / United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (KFOR / UNMIK) escort and lack of guards and security);
  5. Unsatisfactory state of conservation and maintenance of the property.
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
  1. Full and permanent protection of the property in a secure and stable political environment;
  2. Agreed medium-term plan for the restoration of wall paintings (including preventive conservation regime) and conservation and rehabilitation of the property;
  3. Implementation of the Management Plan, and full establishment of buffer zones and boundaries including their legal protection.
Corrective Measures for the property

Urgent / short-term corrective measures:

  1. Put in place appropriate guarding and security arrangements for the Church of the Virgin of Ljevisa;
  2. Prepare a conservation status report including a condition survey for the wall paintings and the status of the conservation works and take temporary measures where there is an urgent need (for example the lead roof of the west bay of the nave of the Church of Virgin of Ljevisa, that was partly removed);
  3. Prepare a risk preparedness study, in conformity with Paragraph 118 of the Operational Guidelines and Decisions 28 COM 10B.4 and 30 COM 7.2.

Long-term corrective measures:

  1. Ensure the adequate long-term administrative, regulatory protection and management of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 97 of the Operational Guidelines;
  2. Put in place strong protective regimes for the buffer zones;
  3. Adequately delineate the boundaries (e.g. extend the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Pec to include more of its riverside-valley settings);
  4. Prepare detailed state of conservation reports as a basis for adapted monitoring, preventative conservation measures, and specific conservation projects to reverse decline;
  5. Ensure appropriate and timely implementation of the Management Plan.
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
  1. Urgent / short-term corrective measures to be taken by the State Party, in cooperation with UNESCO programmes, UNMIK and Provisional Institutions of Self Government in Kosovo*;
  2. Regarding the long-term corrective measures to be taken by the State Party, in cooperation with UNESCO programmes, UNMIK and Provisional Institutions of Self Government in Kosovo, no specific timeframe can be given at this stage due to the uncertain political situation.

* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

Total amount granted: USD 2,798,348 in 2008-2014 following the Donors Conference for the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo, May 2005; USD 693,330 in 2008-2013 by the Italian Government; USD 76,335 in 2008-2013 by the Czech Government; USD 132,833 in 2008-2013 by the Greek Government; USD 2,010,000 in 2011-2014 by the Government of the Russian Federation and USD 45,000 in 2012-2013 by the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

January 2007: UNESCO intersectoral mission to Kosovo; July 2008: UNESCO Venice Office (BRESCE) mission; January and August 2009, July 2010, July 2012, January and July 2013, January and June 2014: UNESCO Venice Office missions.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

Note: The Secretariat was informed by UNESCO’s Legal Advisor in 2008 that the UNESCO Secretariat follows the practice of the United Nations, which considers that the Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) continues to be applicable to the territory of Kosovo until a final settlement is achieved.

At its 38th session (Doha, 2014), the World Heritage Committee decided to adjourn until its 39th ordinary session the debate on the state of conservation of the property (Decision 38 COM 7A.18). The state of conservation report presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session is available on the World Heritage Centre’s website at the following page: https://whc.unesco.org/archive/2014/whc14-38com-7A-en.pdf. The present report includes updated information.

On 28 January 2015, the Permanent Delegation of Serbia to UNESCO submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/724/documents/. Additional information, related to the implementation of projects at the property, was provided by the UNESCO Office in Venice and by UNMIK.

Conservation works, begun in preceding years in all four components of the property, continued in 2013-2015, with support from extra-budgetary donors listed above, as well as from UNESCO’s Regular Programme funds, and with the continued involvement of the UNESCO Office in Venice.

These works concerned sarcophagus conservation, as well as fresco consolidation and restoration works at the Decani Monastery; an assessment and a preliminary survey at Pec Monastery; an assessment, mapping and preliminary survey of the stone fragments at the Virgin of Ljevisa Church; as well as conservation works at the Gracanica Monastery. The report submitted by the Permanent Delegation of Serbia mentions an unresolved issue concerning a bypass road near the Gracanica Monastery, as well as a plan to build a guesthouse at Pec Monastery. Further details were provided by the State Party by letter of 26 March 2015.

The report submitted by the Permanent Delegation of Serbia also mentions graffiti incidents which occurred at the Decani Monastery on several occasions during 2014.

Concerning the security situation at the property, it should be noted that three components of the property are currently under the protection of Kosovo Police: the Gracanica Monastery, the Virgin of Ljevisa Church and Patriarchate of Pec, the latter having been “unfixed” in August 2013 (the “unfixing” process is the handover of security responsibility from the NATO-led Kosovo Force, KFOR, to the specific unit of Kosovo Police dealing with cultural heritage monuments). The fourth component of the property, Decani Monastery, still remains under KFOR protection.

In April 2013, the Director-General of UNESCO requested the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to re-examine the timeline for “unfixing” processes in the Decani Monastery and the Patriarchate of Pec. In April and October 2014, graffiti incidents occurred again at the Decani Monastery. Consequently, in October 2014, the Director-General of UNESCO renewed its appeal to the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to continue the protection by KFOR of this component of the World Heritage property. A verbal reply was received from NATO, assuring that the “unfixing” of the Decani Monastery was not envisaged.

The World Heritage Centre is continuously receiving assurances from the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) that the latter is working closely with all entities mandated to maintain security, and is specifically monitoring all developments which may potentially compromise the security of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.42
Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Serbia) (C 724 bis)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Decides to adjourn the debate on this agenda item until its next ordinary session.
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.42

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 8B.54, 31 COM 7A.28, 32 COM 7A.27, 33 COM 7A.27, 34 COM 7A.28, 35 COM 7A.31, 36 COM 7A.32, 37 COM 7A.34 and 38 COM 7A.18 adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006), 31st (Christchurch, 2007), 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 33rd (Seville, 2009), 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 38th (Doha, 2014) sessions respectively,
  3. Acknowledges the information provided by the state of conservation reports of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and the results of the missions of the UNESCO Venice Office to the property;
  4. Reiterates its request, in cooperation with UNESCO, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Institutions of Kosovo, as well as future European arrangements, to continue to take long-term corrective measures, including: ensuring adequate long-term legislative, regulatory protection and management of the property and strong protective regimes for the monuments and the buffer zones, adequately delineated boundaries and the timely implementation of the Management Plan;
  5. Also reiterates its requests, in cooperation with UNMIK, to continue efforts in completing the short-term and long-term corrective measures to achieve the Desired state of conservation defined for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  6. Requests the submission, in cooperation with UNMIK, to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, of an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  7. Decides to retain the Medieval Monuments in Kosovo on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and to continue applying the Reinforced monitoring mechanism until the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2016.
Report year: 2015
Serbia
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2006-present
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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