1.         City of Quito (Ecuador) (C 2)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1978

Criteria  (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/2/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 391,800
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2/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/2/

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. 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 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 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.