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Kizhi Pogost

Russian Federation
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • 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 
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Housing
  • Land conversion
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Marine transport infrastructure
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 2 (from 1992-2001)
Total amount approved : 38,540 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

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 2021

On 30 November 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/544/documents/. It provides information on measures implemented by the State Party in response to the decision adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019) as follows:

  • The restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration has been completed and a monitoring programme instituted;
  • Four different strategies for the restoration of the Church of the Intercession, planned for 2021-2022, have been developed. The State Party will:
    • further develop these proposals,
    • undertake their review and approval by the scientific and restoration council of the Kizhi Open Air Museum,
    • undertake a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) on their effect on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property,
    • present the final proposals for review during an Advisory mission;
  • The State Party invited an ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property during 2020, but this mission was delayed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The All-Russian Centre for Wooden Architecture Conservation has been established at the Kizhi Open Air Museum to serve as a scientific and skills centre for the conservation of wooden architecture;
  • A Master Plan for the property and the territory of the island on which it is located is still being developed and will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review during 2021. Planned interventions, such as the construction of a new entrance, will be delayed until the Master Plan has been reviewed;
  • Tourism planning has focussed on local beneficiation and visitor spreading in accordance with the Management Plan, with a special focus on small-scale water transport;
  • Health-care facilities for the residents of the buffer zone have been improved. Buffer zone management has been augmented by:
    • The legal protection of the forest areas on the mainland in sight of the property (Government of the Republic of Karelia Order No 239 dated June 11, 2019 regarding the ‘Nominally Primary Forests of Zaonezhie’),
    • The development of the Master Plan for the Velikaya Guba settlement, in collaboration with the Kizhi Open Air Museum and local residents, including community, commercial and tourist infrastructure,
    • The establishment of a working group to coordinate activities regarding the sustainable development of the buffer zone and adjacent territories;
  • Archival studies and fieldwork have continued, and a manual for the restoration of historical woodwork elements has been published.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The State Party details much progress on all aspects addressed in previous Committee Decisions. The restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration was undertaken to the highest possible standard and is deserving of admiration, as is the carefully considered monitoring programme.

The four alternative restoration strategies for the Church of the Intercession follow a careful scientific approach, including assessment through Impact Assessment protocols, already applied in the restoration process of the Church of the Transfiguration. The commitments to assess the alternative strategies through a HIA that focusses on the impact on the OUV of the property is welcomed. It is recommended that the Committee requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with the HIA, a description of the alternative strategies and technical details for the restoration, for review by the Advisory Bodies.

The establishment of the working group to coordinate activities on the sustainable development of the property, its buffer zone, and the larger area, should also be welcomed by the Committee.

The invitation for an ICOMOS Advisory mission is acknowledged and the delay of the mission due to the COVID-19 pandemic is noted. The Committee may request that the mission shall be organized as soon as the sanitary conditions will allow it in order to evaluate progress made by the State Party in regard to tourism development and buffer zone planning and developments, including the Master Plan for Velikaya Guba.

Equally commended are:

  • the State Party’s establishment and funding of the All-Russian Centre for Wooden Architecture Conservation;
  • the legal protection of the forest areas on the mainland in sight of the property;
  • the continued scientific exploration undertaken by the State Party and the Kizhi Open Air Museum;
  • the continued development of a Master Plan for the property and Kizhi Island;
  • the continued engagement with tourism management;
  • the preservation of cultural and natural heritage in the buffer zone and wider territory.

The efforts taken by the State Party to improve the healthcare conditions of the custodians, the staff of the Kizhi Pogost Museum are acknowledged. The Committee may request the State Party to continue the prioritization to improve the custodian’s living conditions.

Tourism and further general developments in the buffer zone and larger territory remain subjects of concern. The Committee may wish to request the State Party to provide more information on the developments, in particular related to the sustainable development in conjunction with traditional livelihoods and land use patterns. Very little detail is provided on developments in the buffer zone, including the Master Plan for the development of the Velikaya Guba settlement. It is, therefore, recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to develop and submit a Sustainable Development Plan for the buffer zone and its wider territory, which focusses on the long-term appropriate settlement of the buffer zone in harmony with and in support of the attributes and OUV of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.160
Kizhi Pogost (Russian Federation) (C 544)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.89, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Congratulates the State Party on the completion of the exemplary restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration and on the implementation of a continued monitoring programme of the structures within the boundaries of the property;
  4. Commends the State Party for:
    1. The establishment of the All-Russian Centre for Wooden Architecture Conservation at the Kizhi Open Air Museum, funded by the State Party,
    2. The legal protection of the forested areas of the buffer zone visible from the property,
    3. The continuous scientific research undertaken by the State Party and the Kizhi Open Air Museum,
    4. The ongoing development of a Master Plan for the property and Kizhi Island, taking into consideration the advice of the Advisory Bodies for the configuration of the entrance to the property, as well as the decision to put on hold any construction projects on the island, including the new entrance facility, until agreement has been reached on the details of the Master Plan,
    5. Progress made in tourism planning and development with focus on the beneficiation of the local community according to the Management Plan for the property;
  5. Welcomes the development of four alternative strategies for the restoration of the Church of the Intercession, including commitments to assess these through a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) that focusses on the impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and requests the State Party to submit the HIA, a description of the alternative strategies and technical details for the restoration to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any final decisions on the approach or technical details of the restoration are made;
  6. Also welcomes the establishment of a working group to coordinate activities on the sustainable development of the property, its buffer zone and the larger area;
  7. Acknowledges the invitation from the State Party for an ICOMOS Advisory mission to visit the property, notes that this mission was delayed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and also requests that the mission shall be organized as soon as the sanitary conditions will allow it in order to evaluate progress made by the State Party in tourism development and buffer zone planning and developments, including the Master Plan for Velikaya Guba;
  8. Also acknowledges the efforts taken by the State Party to prioritize improvements to the healthcare facilities of the custodians of the property, the staff of the Kizhi Pogost Museum, and further requests that the State Party continue to prioritize the improvement of the custodians’ living conditions;
  9. Reiterates its requests to finalize 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 and to submit the plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.160

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.89, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Congratulates the State Party on the completion of the exemplary restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration and on the implementation of a continued monitoring programme of the structures within the boundaries of the property;
  4. Commends the State Party for:
    1. The establishment of the All-Russian Centre for Wooden Architecture Conservation at the Kizhi Open Air Museum, funded by the State Party,
    2. The legal protection of the forested areas of the buffer zone visible from the property,
    3. The continuous scientific research undertaken by the State Party and the Kizhi Open Air Museum,
    4. The ongoing development of a Master Plan for the property and Kizhi Island, taking into consideration the advice of the Advisory Bodies for the configuration of the entrance to the property, as well as the decision to put on hold any construction projects on the island, including the new entrance facility, until agreement has been reached on the details of the Master Plan,
    5. Progress made in tourism planning and development with focus on the beneficiation of the local community according to the Management Plan for the property;
  5. Welcomes the development of four alternative strategies for the restoration of the Church of the Intercession, including commitments to assess these through a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) that focusses on the impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and requests the State Party to submit the HIA, a description of the alternative strategies and technical details for the restoration to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any final decisions on the approach or technical details of the restoration are made;
  6. Also welcomes the establishment of a working group to coordinate activities on the sustainable development of the property, its buffer zone and the larger area;
  7. Acknowledges the invitation from the State Party for an ICOMOS Advisory mission to visit the property, notes that this mission was delayed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and also requests that the mission shall be organized as soon as the sanitary conditions will allow it in order to evaluate progress made by the State Party in tourism development and buffer zone planning and developments, including the Master Plan for Velikaya Guba;
  8. Also acknowledges the efforts taken by the State Party to prioritize improvements to the healthcare facilities of the custodians of the property, the staff of the Kizhi Pogost Museum, and further requests that the State Party continue to prioritize the improvement of the custodians’ living conditions;
  9. Reiterates its requests to finalize 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 and to submit the plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session in 2023.
Report year: 2021
Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 1990
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iv)(v)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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