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Medieval Monuments in Kosovo

Serbia
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • 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
  • Lack of legal status of the property
  • Lack of legislative protection of buffer zones
  • Lack of implementation of the Management Plan and of active management
  • 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)
  • Unsatisfactory state of conservation and maintenance of the property
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Lack of legal status of the property
  • Lack of legislative protection of buffer zones
  • Lack of implementation of the Management Plan and of active management
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Full and permanent protection of the property in a secure and stable political environment
  • Agreed medium-term plan for the restoration of wall paintings (including preventive conservation regime) and conservation and rehabilitation of the property
  • 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 with 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
  • 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*;
  • 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 2019

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 2019
Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

January 2007: UNESCO intersectoral mission to Kosovo; July 2008, January and August 2009, July 2010, July 2012, January and July 2013, January and June 2014, June and October 2015, April 2016, September 2017: missions of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

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 42nd session (Manama, 2018), the World Heritage Committee decided to adjourn until its next ordinary session the debate on the state of conservation of the property (Decision 42 COM 7A.6). The state of conservation report submitted to the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session is available on the World Heritage Centre’s website at the following page: https://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/3771.  

On 31 January 2019, the Permanent Delegation of Serbia to UNESCO submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/document/172038. The report provides the following information:

  • At the Dečani Monastery, continued monitoring of buildings and wall painting in the main church (including its furniture and movable artistic material kept in the monastery) were performed. The concern about the construction of the main road Dečani-Plav (Montenegro) in the buffer zone was attenuated by the decision to cease the construction that would no longer affect conditions for the transformation of the site. However, the terrain was damaged to some extent and was not restored to its original state.
  • At the Patriarchate of Peć Monastery, continued monitoring of wall paintings, monastery objects and movable artistic material was performed. Although moisture detected in the roof structure above the Saint Apostles, it was noted that it has not damaged the vault’s surfaces of the church. Further intensive measures were conducted for the preparation of upcoming roof replacement.
  • At the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša, no conservation and restoration works were carried out in 2018. The consternation about the capillary moisture as well as visible damage of wall painting in the church due to the fire in March 2004 remains unresolved. However, an inventory for documenting the endangered state conditions for the site’s structures and art and the necessary conservation interventions have been performed.
  • At the Gračanica Monastery, as an extension of conservation works which started in 2015, the altar and six columns in the nave of the temple were restored. Based on the performed physical-chemical research, salt characterization and determination of dark sediments, a methodology of their removal and further conservation of the paintings were determined. The extremely exposed units near observers are now clean, preserved and presented appropriately. The color of the paintings are brighter and the details of the iconographic are more legible, both contributing to the ceremonial appearance of the space and to the dignity of the preserved fresco ensemble.
  • The World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy) and its Antenna Office in Sarajevo continues to closely monitor the situation through regular exchange of information with the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
  • Due to the fact that the security situation is unstable and to avoid further endangerment of the sites, the Kosovo Force (KFOR), a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led international peacekeeping force, remains present at the Dečani Monastery to establish a secure environment in the area. The Patriarchate of Peć Monastery, the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša and the Gračanica Monastery are also secured by local police forces on a daily basis.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7A.46
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.
43 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3.Corr),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 43 COM 7A.41)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision43 COM 7A.42)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 43 COM 7A.45)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 43 COM 7A.48)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.5)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.8)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.9)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.10)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.11)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 43 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.4)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.1)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 43 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 43 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 43 COM 7A.22)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 43 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 43 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 43 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 43 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 43 COM 7A.26)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 43 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 43 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 43 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 43 COM 7A.54)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 43 COM 7A.55)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 43 COM 7A.43)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 43 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 43 COM 7A.30)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 43 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 43 COM 7A.50)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 43 COM 7A.51)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.15)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 43 COM 7A.46)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 43 COM 7A.2)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 43 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 43 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 43 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 43 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 43 COM 7A.35)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 43 COM 7A.36)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 43 COM 7A.56)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 43 COM 7A.47)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.16)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.3)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 43 COM 7A.44)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 43 COM 7A.52)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 43 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 43 COM 7A.39)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 43 COM 7A.40)
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7A.46 *

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  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, 38 COM 7A.18, 39 COM 7A.42, 40 COM 7A.30, 41 COM 7A.21, 42 COM 7A.6 and 42 COM 8C.2, 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), 38th (Doha, 2014), 39th (Bonn, 2015), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 41st (Krakow, 2017) and 42nd (Manama, 2018) sessions respectively,
  3. Acknowledges the information provided in the state of conservation reports of 2009-2019, and the results of the missions of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice, to the property;
  4. Reiterates its request, in cooperation with UNESCO, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Institutions in Kosovo 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 2020, of an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020;
  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 44th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2020.

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

Report year: 2019
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 (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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