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Kizhi Pogost

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Land conversion
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Marine transport infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Structural integrity issues at the Church of the Transfiguration

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 including development of infrastructures 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 2 (from 1992-2001)
Total amount approved : 38,540 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

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; March 2018: ICOMOS Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 21 January 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/544, and presents progress in the implementation of the previous Committee Decision, as well as the recommendations of the 2018 ICOMOS Advisory mission, as follows:

  • The restoration methodology of the Church of the Transfiguration has been adapted in accordance with the advice of the 2018 mission;
  • Monitoring programmes have been implemented to assess the already-reconstructed portions of the Church of the Transfiguration and to modify these if needed;
  • Regarding the future conservation activities planned in relation to the Church of the Intercession, which will commence in 2019, the State Party is investigating different approaches (i.e. reassembly or in-situ conservation of the monument) and adapting their technical approach;
  • The State Party is avoiding the use of any chemicals in the restoration process for both churches;
  • An international scientific conference will be organised to explore options for completing the ‘heaven ceiling’ of the Church of the Transfiguration;
  • The State Party has adopted the recommendations of the 2018 Advisory mission with regard to the continued development of the property and its buffer zone as well as their infrastructure.

The State Party also reports progress on the following:

  • A Master Plan for the property and its buffer zone is in preparation, which is planned to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in 2020;
  • The government of the Republic of Karelia is supporting the Kizhi Museum in the development of a Sustainable Development Plan for the buffer zone of the property, which will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in 2021;
  • Progress has been made in installing electrical infrastructure in the buffer zone;
  • Legislation is being drafted in relation to the regulation of access to the water bodies around Kizhi Island, while the State Party is considering adopting an amendment to the federal law to increase the level of protection for the property’s buffer zone and its surrounding territories, following an Order that came into force in September 2018;
  • Additionally, the Republic of Karelia has approved a road map that will further contribute towards the protection of the property, and which foresees, amongst others, the following activities: the removal of unauthorized watercraft from the shoreline of Kizhi Island; the development of a set of measures aimed at eliminating negative impacts on views towards the property; and the development of monitoring system and supervisory activities to ensure compliance with the regulations established for the property and its buffer zone.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The State Party and the property management team have shown continued engagement with the decisions of the Committee and the recommendations of the missions, with positive results in relation to the technically-challenging restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration, as well as the overall state of conservation of the property.

The State Party has addressed the recommendations of the 2018 mission in a proactive manner, including the elaboration of a sustainable development plan to diversify the economic basis of the property’s buffer zone and the region around the property in general, and halting the museum entrance project and developing alternatives for visitor facilities.

The missions have been instrumental in safeguarding the integrity and authenticity of the property, not in the least because of the collaborative engagement of the State Party and the property management team. However, the restoration of the Church of the Intercession may harbour new challenges not encountered in the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration. Seen in the light of past successes of the collaboration between the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, it is recommended that these consultations continue via technical reviews and missions, with a focus on both the continued restoration of the important built heritage of the property and its buffer zone,  as well as on the planning, development and management of the property and its buffer zone.

The State Party has welcome additional steps to strengthen the legislative protection of the property, its buffer zone and the wider territory. However, great caution is required to ensure that a careful balance is found between measures restricting use and the achievement of a sustainable livelihood for permanent residents of the buffer zone and its wider territory that is in harmony with the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property.

The progress that has been made regarding the elaboration of a sustainable development plan is commendable, but currently the focus remains on tourism-related activities and traditional land use and crafts. These are important, but may not be enough for the longer-term and economically-sustainable continued inhabitation of the buffer zone and the larger territory.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.89
Kizhi Pogost (Russian Federation) (C 544)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Acknowledges the considerable and continued progress made on the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration, as well as on the development of appropriate monitoring programmes to assess and adjust the already-reconstructed portions of the Church of the Transfiguration;
  4. Also acknowledges the State Party’s continued commitment to the improvement of the state of conservation of the property as well as the development of management tools according to specified timelines;
  5. Requests the State Party to continue its successful efforts to ensure the continued conservation, integrity and authenticity of the property, through:
    1. Investigating different approaches to the restoration and conservation of the Church of the Intercession, which will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before the project is implemented in 2019,
    2. Continuing the development and application of restoration, reconstruction and maintenance methodologies that prioritize traditional skills and techniques,
    3. Carefully developing tourism in the property and its buffer zone in symbiosis with the attributes and Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and carefully and continually monitoring the impact of tourism thereon,
    4. Finalizing the Sustainable Development Plan for the buffer zone and its wider territory to create sustainable conditions for the long-term appropriate settlement of the buffer zone in harmony with and in support of the attributes and OUV of the property, to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in 2021,
    5. Developing a Master Plan for the property that prioritises the maintenance of the OUV of the property and its setting, to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in 2020;
  6. Encourages the State Party to invite an ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property, to be financed by the State Party, at an opportune and appropriate time during the first phases of the conservation of the Church of the Intercession, in order to assist the State Party in assessing the appropriateness of the techniques and technologies applied in the conservation process of this important building, and advise on recommended alternatives, if any;
  7. Also requests the State Party to prioritise improvements to the living conditions of the custodians of the property, the staff of the Kizhi Pogost Museum;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, 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 45th session in 2021.
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7B.89

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Acknowledges the considerable and continued progress made on the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration, as well as on the development of appropriate monitoring programmes to assess and adjust the already-reconstructed portions of the Church of the Transfiguration;
  4. Also acknowledges the State Party’s continued commitment to the improvement of the state of conservation of the property as well as the development of management tools according to specified timelines;
  5. Requests the State Party to continue its successful efforts to ensure the continued conservation, integrity and authenticity of the property, through:
    1. Investigating different approaches to the restoration and conservation of the Church of the Intercession, which will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before the project is implemented in 2019,
    2. Continuing the development and application of restoration, reconstruction and maintenance methodologies that prioritize traditional skills and techniques,
    3. Carefully developing tourism in the property and its buffer zone in symbiosis with the attributes and Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and carefully and continually monitoring the impact of tourism thereon,
    4. Finalizing the Sustainable Development Plan for the buffer zone and its wider territory to create sustainable conditions for the long-term appropriate settlement of the buffer zone in harmony with and in support of the attributes and OUV of the property, to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in 2021,
    5. Developing a Master Plan for the property that prioritises the maintenance of the OUV of the property and its setting, to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies in 2020;
  6. Encourages the State Party to invite an ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property, to be financed by the State Party, at an opportune and appropriate time during the first phases of the conservation of the Church of the Intercession, in order to assist the State Party in assessing the appropriateness of the techniques and technologies applied in the conservation process of this important building, and advise on recommended alternatives, if any;
  7. Also requests the State Party to prioritise improvements to the living conditions of the custodians of the property, the staff of the Kizhi Pogost Museum;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, 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 45th session in 2021.
Report year: 2019
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1990
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iv)(v)
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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