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City of Quito

Ecuador
Factors affecting the property in 2008*
  • Earthquake
  • Housing
  • Management activities
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2008
Requests approved: 16 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved : 391,800 USD
Missions to the property until 2008**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

In March 2007 the Ecuadorian National Committee of ICOMOS informed the Director of the UNESCO Quito Office of its concern regarding two projects proposed for the historic centre of Quito. These were the “reconstruction” of the tower of the Jesuit Church Iglesia Compañia de Jesús, which collapsed following earthquake damage in the mid 19th century, to include the construction of a viewing area accessed by a modern elevator, and the “integral rehabilitation” and extension of the Legislative Palace Palacio Legislativo y Centro Civico following its severe damage by fire some years ago. The ICOMOS Ecuador communication also called for a high-level review of the Special Plan of the Historic Centre of Quito of 2003, in order to ensure that the outstanding universal value of the property for which it was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978 would not be put at risk.

ICOMOS studied the detailed information provided by the State Party and by its National Committee. In its opinion, the project for the reconstruction of the tower of the Jesuit Church is unacceptable, since it significantly affects the authenticity of the monument and the historic ensemble and takes no account of eventual reversibility. It should therefore be reconsidered and revised in light of these comments before work is resumed.

In the opinion of ICOMOS, the Legislative Palace is an outstanding example of modern Latin American architecture. The rehabilitation project provides for the construction of two towers on either side of the Palace which would have a profound adverse impact on the group of buildings. It recommends that the planned project should be abandoned in its present form.

ICOMOS supports the proposal of its National Committee that a high-level review of the Special Plan of the Historic Centre of Quito of 2003 should be carried out, in order to ensure that the outstanding universal value of the property for which it was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978 is not put at risk.

The World Heritage Centre received the 2 April 2008 an official letter from the National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INPC) indicating that the Municipality of Quito had decided to stop the works on the tower. An inspection report from the INPC dated 28 April 2008 and received by the WHC the 12 May 2008 included graphic information on the current state of the interruption of the works at the tower. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2008
32 COM 7B.121
City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 120)

 The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B.Add;

2. Expresses its deep concern about the impact of the reconstruction of the Compañía de Jesús tower on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

3. Requests the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to cease the reconstruction of the tower of the Jesuit Church so as to maintain the authenticity of the property;

4. Urges the State Party to suspend work on the rehabilitation project for the Palacio Legislativo y Centro Cívico and revise it so as to remove any potential adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value and authenticity of the property;

5. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

6. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to Quito to re-evaluate the above-mentioned interventions in the framework of the actualization of the 2003 Special Plan for the Centre of Quito;

7. Requests moreoverthe State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, a report on the state of conservation of the property, for consideration at the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee in 2009.

Draft Decision: 32 COM 7B.121

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B.Add;

2. Expresses its deep concern about the potential impact of the Compañía de Jesús tower on the outstanding universal value of the property;

3. Requests the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to cease the construction of the tower of the Jesuit Church so as to maintain the authenticity of the property;

4. Urges the State Party to suspend work on the rehabilitation project for the Palacio Legislativo y Centro Cívico and revise it so as to remove any potential adverse impact on the setting of an outstanding modern Latin American building;

5. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to Quito to re-evaluate the above-mentioned interventions in the framework of the actualization of the 2003 Special Plan for the Centre of Quito;

6. Further requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to develop, prior to the arrival of the mission, a draft Statement of outstanding universal value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

7. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, a report on the state of conservation of the property, for consideration at the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee in 2009.

Report year: 2008
Ecuador
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 32COM (2008)
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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