1.         Paris, Banks of the Seine (France) (C 600)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1991

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/600/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/600/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/600/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 29 November 2019, in response to World Heritage Committee decision 43 COM 7B.82, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/600/documents/.  On 29 January 2021, the State Party submitted an update to this report. The progress made is presented in these reports, as follows:

In addition, the State Party is making efforts to reconcile the urgency of interventions and the health protection of workers, in particular against the risk of lead contamination. The State Party also emphasizes the strong involvement of the community of researchers who regard the rubble as samples bearing important information on the history of the construction of Notre-Dame, the methods and materials used.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

According to reports submitted by the State Party, the phase of ensuring the security of Notre-Dame Cathedral is still underway despite the emergency measures and works carried out. Significant work remains to be done to avert the risk of the collapse of the building. This first securisation-consolidation phase should be completed in summer 2021. It is important that this phase be carried out with the greatest possible care in order to conserve as much of the damaged materials and fragments as possible to ensure that future conservation interventions are not predetermined in this emergency phase. It is only after this phase that the restoration phase of the damaged elements will begin. 

The World Heritage Centre, ICCROM and ICOMOS have taken note of the measures taken by the State Party to prepare for the next phase of restoration and establish optimal conditions for the conservation and restoration of the building, in particular the creation by the 29 July 2019 decree of a public establishment responsible for the conservation and restoration of the cathedral, placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, and which also takes into account the health and safety of workers.

The strong involvement of the research community in the analysis of the rubble and remains of the disaster for the purpose of understanding the history of the cathedral, its construction methods during successive construction sites and its architecture is also noted with satisfaction.

The World Heritage Centre, ICCROM and ICOMOS have taken note of the proposed restoration approach, consisting in restoring the architecture of Viollet-le-Duc, in particular with regard to the roof and the spire. In order to allow the restoration work to be carried out by the State Party to comply with the recommendations of the World Heritage Convention, it is recommended that the Committee reminds the State Party of the need to inform the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies of the methodology it proposes for the restoration of the building, as well as the system to monitor the structural stability of the cathedral, and the preventive measures and actions to avoid future fire risks, in accordance with the paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

To facilitate this process, it is recommended that the Committee invite the State Party to strengthen the current coordination with UNESCO, ICOMOS and ICCROM, which will appoint three experts to assist the State Party, and to engage in regular and enhanced dialogue with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies. This would promote a clearer understanding of the different restoration options that are being discussed or considered for parts of the building. It is also recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to invite an Advisory mission as soon as circumstances permit, and in the meantime to submit exhaustive graphic and photographic documentation of the interventions already carried out and in progress documenting all the stages of these interventions, before, during and after the work.

The Committee could also request the State Party to submit a detailed progress report by 1 February 2022 which would present the assessment of the processes undertaken to date, the challenges in terms of restoration that need to be addressed, and the methodology that is being considered.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7B.46

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.82 adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes the information provided by the State Party concerning the work to secure and consolidate Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and commends the State Party for the efforts undertaken to ensure the safeguarding of the property;
  4. Recommends that the securisation-consolidation works continue to be carried out with the greatest attention in order to preserve the damaged materials and fragments as much as possible, to ensure that future conservation is not predetermined by emergency interventions;
  5. Also recommends, as work progresses towards the restoration phase, that the State Party strengthen the current coordination with UNESCO, ICOMOS, and ICCROM, which will provide three experts to assist the State Party, and engage in regular and enhanced dialogue with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, thus promoting a clearer understanding of the different restoration options that are being debated or considered and how they take into account the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  6. Encourages the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Advisory mission as soon as circumstances permit, and in the meantime invites the State Party to submit exhaustive graphic and photographic documentation of the interventions already carried out and in progress, describing all stages of these interventions, before, during and after the work;
  7. Invites the State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to inform the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies of proposals for the restoration of the damaged parts before irreversible decisions are made, as well as the system for monitoring the structural stability of the cathedral and preventive measures and actions to avoid future fire risks;
  8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, a detailed updated report on the state of conservation of the property, in particular the measures taken for its consolidation, as well as the guidelines envisaged for its restoration, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 8B.54

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/21/44.COM/8B and WHC/21/44.COM/INF.8B1,
  2. Does not to approve the proposed minor modification to the boundary of Paris, Banks of the Seine, France;
  3. Refers the proposed buffer zone for Paris, Banks of the Seine, France, back to the State Party in order to allow it to set out more clearly the rationale for the delineation of buffer zone boundaries, in relation to views, potential threats, and to how they might support the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  4. Recommends that before any new proposals are submitted, either for the property boundaries or for a buffer zone, a Management Plan for the property is prepared.