1.         Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Serbia) (C 724bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2006-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

a) Full and permanent protection of the property in a secure and stable political environment;

b) Agreed medium-term plan for the restoration of wall paintings (including preventive conservation regime) and conservation and rehabilitation of the properties;

c) Implementation of the management plans, and full establishment of buffer zones and boundaries including their legal protection.

Corrective measures identified

Urgent / short-term corrective measures:

a) Put in place appropriate guarding and security arrangements for the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša;

b) Prepare a conservation status report including a condition survey for the wall paintings and the status of the conservation works and take temporary measures where there is an urgent need (for example the lead roof of the west bay of the nave of the Church of Virgin of Ljeviša, that was partly removed, etc);

c) Prepare a risk preparedness study, in conformity with Paragraph 118 of the Operational Guidelines and Decisions 28 COM 10B.4 and 30 COM 7.2 .

Long-term corrective measures:

d) Ensure the adequate long-term administrative, regulatory protection and management of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 97 of the Operational Guidelines;

e) Put in place strong protective regimes for the buffer zones;

f) Adequately delineate the boundaries (e.g. extend the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Peć to include more of its riverside-valley settings);

g) Prepare detailed state of conservation reports as a basis for adapted monitoring, preventative conservation measures, and specific conservation projects to reverse decline;

h) Ensure appropriate and timely implementation of the Management plan.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

a) Urgent / short-term corrective measures to be taken by the State Party, in cooperation with UNESCO programmes, UNMIK and Provisional Institutions of Self Government in Kosovo by the end of 2006;

b) Regarding the long-term corrective measures to be taken by the State Party, in co-operation with UNESCO programmes, UNMIK and Provisional Institutions of Self Government in Kosovo no specific timeframe can be given at this stage due to the political situation.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/724/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/724/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 497,000 following the Donors Conference for the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo, May 2005 

Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO intersectoral mission to Kosovo (16-19 January 2007)

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of legal status of the property;

b) Lack of legislative protection of buffer zones;

c) Lack of implementation of the management plan and of active management;

d) Difficulties to monitor the property due to political instability, post-conflict situation (visits under the Kosovo Stabilisation Force/United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (KFOR/UNMIK) escort and lack of guards and security);

e) Unsatisfactory state of conservation and maintenance of the property.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/724/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The State Party provided the World Heritage Centre on 1 November 2006 with a project document for the restoration of the Patriarchate of Peć Monastery. The project was transmitted to ICOMOS for review and evaluation. The report includes background, description of the state of conservation, justification of the project, literature and reports used, graphic attachments and description of the works.

A UNESCO intersectoral mission to Kosovo (16-19 January 2007) which included a cultural heritage staff from the UNESCO Venice Office, visited two of the four monuments of the World Heritage property, the Dečani Monastery and the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša, as special concerns were expressed for these two monuments.

The mission noted that :

a) The Dečani Monastery and the Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša are presently under the control of KFOR Troops while protective measures are expected to be implemented (by high fencing and barbed wire). KFOR Troops in cooperation with local police forces are patrolling the site occasionally;

b) A medium-term plan for the restoration of wall paintings and conservation and rehabilitation of the properties is being prepared within the overall programme of UNESCO activities related to the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Kosovo;

c) In the particular case of Dečani, the Executive Decision No 2005/5 of the SRSG of UNMIK on the Special Zoning Area does not allow for any construction, reconstruction, industrial or commercial activity, including exploitation of forest, water and mineral resources, without a dully issued authorization approved by UNMIK;

d) The required works on the roof of Ljeviša are completed.

The State Party informed the World Heritage Centre by a letter dated 27 January 2007 that unplanned construction of secular facilities has started, within the protection zone around the Dečani Monastery complex.

The State Party by a letter of 2 March 2007 sent to the World Heritage Centre the report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage property, and mentioned difficulties to access the site. It indicated that the Serbian law for the protection of the cultural heritage is not applied. Concerning the specific situation of the property it stated:

a) Dečani Monastery: The protection zone of the monastery is threatened by illegal constructions. There were improvements for different parts of the monastery as was foreseen in the nomination dossier, including the plan for the restoration of the walls and the installation of a fire-protection system; long-term works are going on, for the entrance and the sculpture decoration, for the examination of the state of conservation of the frescos, the plan of reconstruction of the tower in the entrance of the monastery, etc;

b) Patriarchate of Peć Monastery: Conservation works in the façade and wall paintings of the façade as well of the church of the Virgin are being undertaken. On-going works of the second part of the plan of protection and presentation of the churches of Peć, with the construction of the surrounding wall and conservation of wall-paintings of Daniil’s Narthex; a list of works to be started is also mentioned, e.g. the conservation works of the wall-paintings of the Churches of Saint Dimitri and Holy - Apostoles;

c) Gračanica Monastery: The consolidation of the imperial doors and the iconostasis was completed. On-going works for the preparation of plan of the Episcopal court, arrangements of the place of nun quarters and of the plan of fire protection are being carried out; A list of works to start is indicated, such as conservation works of frescoes, works in the entrance and the surrounding zone of the church, preparation of the static plan of the church, etc;

d) Church of the Virgin of Ljeviša: illegal construction developed within the protection zone and very close to the Church. The Director of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments requested to stop this illegal construction; A list of works were carried out, such as removal of the damaged parts and lead covering on the roof, cleaning and conservation of fixings of the walls of the bell-tower, positioning of the lead cover on the cupola of the bell-tower,repair of the cross on the bell-tower, rebuilding of the ceiling of the bell-tower, rough-casting of the walls of the vault of the bell-tower with withdrawal of the damaged rough coat, cleansing of the floor of the bell-tower, positioning of the windows,manufacture of timber construction of the gallery and the staircase, rough-casting of the interior parts of the walls of the church with withdrawal of the damaged rough coat.

The Cultural Heritage Law of 9 October 2006 of the Assembly of Kosovo and the Regulation No 2006/52 is also noted. As this law mentions in point 6.4 that “Architectural monuments under temporary or permanent protection shall have a Protective Zone which is 50 metres from the perimeter of the monument” and at point 7.15 “The radius of a Protective Zone shall be 100 metres from the perimeter of the protected archaeological heritage site”. The World Heritage Centre considers that this protection zone is not sufficient for the protection of the World Heritage property and its different parts. Taking note of the Executive Decision of UNMIK No 2005/5 of 25 April 2005 on a Special Zoning Area – Dečani it is highly recommended that special care should be taken for the other three sites of the World Heritage property with provision of an appropriate protection zone and putting in place strong protective regimes for buffer zones.

The World Heritage Centre received a letter from the State Party dated 4 April 2007 concerning the grenade attack to the property which took place on 31 March 2007. The authorities state that this was the fourth time that Dečani Monastery was the object of terrorist attacks. The Director-General of UNESCO condemned the act in a press statement and the UNESCO Office in Venice is planning a mission to the property in May 2007 to evaluate any damages to the property. 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7A.28

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7A,
  2.  Recalling Decisions 30 COM 8B.53, and 30 COM 8B.54, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),
  3. Acknowledges the difficulties to monitor the property due to political instability, post-conflict situation and notes the assessment by the intersectoral mission carried out in January 2007 to some parts of the property, and in particular that:

a)      The KFOR troops are patrolling at the property;

b)      The medium-term plan for the restoration of wall paintings and conservation and rehabilitation of the property is being prepared;

c)      The Executive Decision No 2005/5 of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) of United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) on the Special Zoning Area was issued for Dečani Monastery;

d)      The required works on the roof of Ljeviša are completed.

4.       Recalls its request for a risk preparedness study, in conformity with Paragraph 118 of the Operational Guidelines and Decisions 28 COM 10B.4 and 30 COM 7.2;

5.       Urges the State Party, in cooperation with UNESCO programmes, UNMIK and Provisional Institutions of Self Government in Kosovo, as well as future European arrangements to continue to take the following long-term corrective measures:

a) Ensure the adequate long-term legislative, regulatory protection and management of the property, in conformity with Paragraph 97 of the Operational Guidelines, including strong protective regimes for the buffer zones;

b) Adequately delineate boundaries (e.g. extend the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Peć to include more of its riverside-valley settings) and submit revised boundaries in accordance with the provisions of the Operational Guidelines;

c) Ensure appropriate and timely implementation of the Management Plan.

6.       Requests the State Party to continue its efforts in completing the short-term and long-term corrective measures to achieve the desired state of conservation;

7.       Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and icomos, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

8.       Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008 an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

9.      Decides to retain the Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Serbia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-07/31.COM/7A and WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add, WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add.3),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: