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Kizhi Pogost

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Land conversion
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Marine transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Structural integrity issues at the Church of the Transfiguration
  • Lack of an integrated management plan addressing the overall management of the World Heritage property
  • Tourism development pressures
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 2 (from 1992-2001)
Total amount approved : 38,540 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

1992, 1993, 1994, 2011: ICOMOS missions; 2002: UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission and on-site workshop; 2007, 2010 and 2013: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions; July 2014 and October 2015: ICOMOS Advisory missions

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 17 December 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/544/documents/, and provides detailed information on the progress made with the conservation efforts, the implementation of the remedial measures identified in 2010, and the recommendations of the Committee:

  • A revised Management Plan submitted to the World Heritage Centre in November 2015 contains key provisions such as the sustainable tourism development strategy, spatial and land-use regulations, a Disaster Risk Management Plan, guidelines on landscape management, guidelines for restoration and a monitoring programme. The Action Plan for 2015-2026 has also been completed;
  • No new developments within the buffer zone and adjacent areas have been permitted. In accordance with the approved development concept, the project for the museum entrance area was elaborated in close collaboration with international experts and amended according to the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and recommendations provided;
  • Measures have been taken to address the possible impact of tourism through the development of a sustainable tourism strategy and guidelines for tourism development;
  • Comprehensive restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration is continuing according to schedule and encompasses all recommendations provided throughout the Reactive Monitoring and ICOMOS Advisory missions and the Committee’s decisions, pertaining to the technical aspects of the restoration as well as training components and site management;
  • Training and capacity-building activities have been developed and carried out. An educational and training centre on wooden architecture conservation was established in 2014, followed by an agreement signed in 2015 between ICCROM and the Kizhi Museum on the organization of international courses. A new UNESCO Chair of Wooden Architecture Research and Preservation has been established in October 2015.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The overall progress achieved in the continuing conservation and restoration measures is commendable and is the result of the dedication of the Kizhi Museum staff and the commitment of the State Party. This significant progress has also been accomplished through the process of continuous discussion and cooperative efforts of all stakeholders involved.

The restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration has entered a challenging period although progress is good and the work is being carried out with high quality. It is recommended that the introduction of new strengthening systems be kept to a minimum and that traditional methods should be preferred. Further it is important to note that there is a potential danger of loss of interior elements due to conservation challenges. This concerns in particular the beams of the heaven ceiling. Removing the original ceiling beams, which are part of the original construction and almost complete church interior, would constitute a loss of authenticity and integrity and would affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Therefore, the re-establishment of every part of the church, including construction and interior, to a state close to original is recommended as the goal of the restoration works. During the critical phase of the restoration works in 2016, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies suggest that the State Party consider inviting another follow-up Advisory Mission to assess the progress on the conservation measures and the finalization of the management plan. It is critical that funds be secured to ensure that the work can continue.

It is noted with great concern that the developments of the museum entrance project are being planned despite the previous decisions of the Committee. Only the possibility to reuse existing buildings for museum staff accommodation should be explored, as previously recommended by the Reactive Monitoring missions. Primarily, the objective of the entrance project should be to spread the pressure and reduce the impact of tourism on the property, rather than to increase tourism.

In response to earlier recommendations, the authorities moved the visually obtrusive floating restaurant to another location. Nevertheless, the 2015 ICOMOS Advisory Mission noted that a large floating pier has been added to the guest house, and a road section has been constructed leading to the guest house and this causes concern in relation to visitor management. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate that the control of development and fluvial regulation, as well as land-use, remain a substantial challenge and necessitate strict application of legal regulations and sensitive tourism development.

While the Management Plan “Kizhi Pogost 2016-2026” is an improvement and contains some positive changes, it requires further development and should focus on the establishment of sufficient protection measures both within and outside the buffer zone area. Detailed comments are provided to the State Party.

In relation to capacity building and training, the recent developments for the setting up of a training centre, the agreement for the organization of international training courses with ICCROM, as well as the development of a UNESCO Chair on Wooden Architecture Research and Preservation are commendable. The competences and experiences obtained at Kizhi can hereby be shared with other professionals and projects internationally and within Russia.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.58
Kizhi Pogost (Russian Federation) (C 544)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.30, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for the continuing excellent conservation and restoration works at the Church of the Transfiguration and requests the State Party to secure all necessary funding to complete these works ;
  4. Notes with concern that developments, such as the Museum entrance project, are being planned despite its previous request to the State Party to halt any developments within the property, its setting and the protected areas of the Kizhi Museum-Reserve, and reiterates its request to the State Party to explore possibilities to reuse existing buildings for Museum staff accommodation in order to significantly reduce new constructions;
  5. Reiterates that the control of development and fluvial regulation, as well as land-use, remain a substantial challenge and necessitate strict application of legal regulations and sensitive tourism development;
  6. Recommends that the Management Plan “Kizhi Pogost 2016-2026” be further developed and should focus on the establishment of sufficient protection measures both within and outside the buffer zone area;
  7. Notes that the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration has entered a challenging period and also requests the State Party to:
    1. Ensure that the introduction of new strengthening systems be kept to a minimum and that traditional methods should be preferred,
    2. Re-establish every part of the Church, notably the beams of the heaven ceiling, to a state close to original in order to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the Church,
    3. Consider inviting a follow-up Advisory mission to assess progress made on the conservation measures and the finalization of the management plan;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.58

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.30, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for the continuing excellent conservation and restoration works at the Church of the Transfiguration and requests the State Party to secure all necessary funding to complete these works ;
  4. Notes with concern that developments, such as the Museum entrance project, are being planned despite its previous request to the State Party to halt any developments within the property, its setting and the protected areas of the Kizhi Museum-Reserve, and reiterates its request to the State Party to explore possibilities to reuse existing buildings for Museum staff accommodation in order to significantly reduce new constructions;
  5. Reiterates that the control of development and fluvial regulation, as well as land-use, remain a substantial challenge and necessitate strict application of legal regulations and sensitive tourism development;
  6. Recommends that the Management Plan “Kizhi Pogost 2016-2026” be further developed and should focus on the establishment of sufficient protection measures both within and outside the buffer zone area;
  7. Notes that the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration has entered a challenging period and also requests the State Party to:
    1. Ensure that the introduction of new strengthening systems be kept to a minimum and that traditional methods should be preferred,
    2. Re-establish every part of the Church, notably the beams of the heaven ceiling, to a state close to original in order to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the Church,
    3. Consider inviting a follow-up Advisory mission to assess progress made on the conservation measures and the finalization of the management plan;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
Report year: 2016
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1990
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iv)(v)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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