The World Heritage Newsletter
Published by The World Heritage Center, UNESCO

No. 11, June 1996 

  1. Editorial
  2. World Heritage and Local Democracy
  3. Global strategy: The Harare Meeting
  4. World Heritage and the Republic of Armenia
  5. New prospects for training strategy for Africa South of the Sahara
  6. The WH Convention in Latin America and the Caribbean
  7. World Heritage Exhibition and Multimedia CD-ROM - - From ideAto exhibition
  8. Malta pledges US$ 1.8 million for the preservation of its cultural heritage
  9. Calendar


By Bernd von Droste zu Hülshoff Director, UNESCO World Heritage Centre

For more than a year now, the World Heritage Centre has been expanding and speeding up its efforts to help States Parties bring attention to their historic cities which are on the World Heritage List. The historic cities or monuments located in an historic urban context make up roughly a quarter of the 469 sites on the List.

The Centre's actions are guided by two principles. It might be a good ideAto remind the reader of them: under the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, States Parties have the 'duty of ensuring the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission to future generations of the cultural and natural heritage'. As regards historic cities, this is a complex task, and many States Parties are asking the World Heritage Centre for help.

The second principle concerns the need for partnerships to achieve this end. For this reason, UNESCO has made it one of the main points in its world-wide action.

So, in January 1996, representatives of UNESCO, the World Bank, ICCROM and several private foundations met in Washington to lay the foundations for international co-operation aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of the projects to enhance historic cities. Six cities were designated as 'priorities' for this collaborative effort: Vilnius, Fez, Hué, Sana'a, Saint-Petersburg and Samarkand. Five of them are on the World Heritage List; the sixth -- Samarkand -- is on Uzbekistan's tentative list. It was agreed that the programmes and projects concerning these six towns would be the object of concerted effort between the States Parties and the relevant municipalities, the World Bank, UNESCO (including the World Heritage Centre), the private sector and local populations.

Four themes were selected as the basis for a joint reflection on the enhancement of the historic towns: drawing up guidelines for the development of historic cities; introducing cultural criteria into the economic analysis of the development projects of the historic cities; conversion of disused historic buildings; and the participation of local communities. In line with its mission, the World Heritage Centre, along with its main partners, will assume the intellectual leadership of the first theme.

World Heritage and Local Democracy

U.K. Local Authority Forum on the Management of World Heritage Sites. A management structure for local authorities.

At Atime when so much damage is being done to our cultural heritage it is hardly surprising that the debate about the relationship between cultural heritage and human rights is being developed.

But this is Atimely reminder of the importance of democratic accountability and constituency in a field dominated by specialists and appointed agencies.

The role of local authorities as a body in the protection of cultural heritage in Europe and the rest of the world has yet to be fully developed; our experiences in the United Kingdom are not unique, nor do they pretend to be trailblazing.

However, one may hope this article invites other nations to consider the role that can and should be played by democratically elected local government. It also aims to encourage an exchange of experiences and a greater awareness and sharing of the difficult issues faced -- maybe this will bring a greater understanding of what is meant by a right to cultural heritage.

There are 14 World Heritage Sites in the U.K., representing a wide range of heritage including natural landscapes such as The Giant's Causeway and St Kilda, and monuments to achievements ranging from Neolithic society (at Stonehenge and Avebury) to the Industrial Revolution (at Ironbridge).

Local authorities in the U.K. play a significant role in the protection, enhancement, display and interpretation of World Heritage sites. In their roles as local planning and highway authorities -- as well as promoters of culture, tourism and recreation, 34 local authorities in the U.K. are heavily involved in the day-to-day management of such sites.

As there are many common management issues, local authorities recognized that they could learn a great deal from exchanging experiences. It was felt they would be able to exert greater influence and work more closely with other agencies and government departments if they acted collectively.

So, after a preliminary meeting hosted by Wrekin Council at the World Heritage site of Ironbridge Gorge, the U.K. Local Authority World Heritage Forum on the Management of the Sites was formally established.

According to David Williams, Secretary of the Forum, elected local authorities in the U.K. play a major role in caring for World Heritage sites. 'Although U.K. planning powers do not include any special designation for World Heritage sites (an issue the Forum is promoting for debate) many key tasks of management and site protection fall to local councils...That is why we felt it was appropriate to create the first U.K. Local Authorities World Heritage Sites Forum (LAWHF).'

Many of the sites are under considerable pressure from visitor numbers, erosion and decay. There is great scope to improve the display and interpretation of the sites to enable this -- and future -- generations to learn and appreciate more from our rich heritage. It is also important to ensure these sites of universal significance enjoy the protection, respect and investment they deserve.

Councillor Philip Davis, who chairs the U.K. Forum and one of its local equivalents, the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Strategy Group, has said: 'Naturally, I see the need to bring elected local authorities together nationally to lobby on World Heritage sites issues. But local partnerships involving public and private agencies with a commitment to better management of a particular site are just as vital.'

The Forum seeks to promote the role of local authorities in the management of World Heritage sites and the achievement of the objectives of the UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. It also hopes to encourage the Government of the United Kingdom and international agencies to increase resourcing, and to provide support for the preservation, management, interpretation and display of the World Heritage sites.

Within the Forum itself, local authorities are encouraged to exchange experiences and information on the management of World Heritage sites, and the group as a whole seeks to work with the other agencies involved in World Heritage matters, including ICOMOS and ICCROM.

Councillor Davis hopes the U.K. Forum would ultimately lead to a national convention with the U.K. Government, pulling together both national and local government support for the sites.

LAWHF has already worked positively with ICOMOS U.K. -- the two bodies are complementary.

'ICOMOS has a wealth of individual technical and professional expertise; as Alocal authority body we also contribute planning and conservation skills. But most importantly, we bring a democratic and representative dimensions to U.K. support for World Heritage sites,' Councillor Davis said.

The Forum has now created an exhibition illustrating the U.K. World Heritage sites. This is the first time the sites have been shown together, illustrating their collective worth as well as individual significance.

The Forum now meets four times a year, hosted by a different Authority each time and including a presentation about the local World Heritage site at each meeting. In this way, the delegates visit a wide range of sites and learn about the management problems faced by each local authority.

Other agenda items have included updates on planning law affecting sites, discussions about access to funding, promotion of the sites and technical issues such as the development of management plans and consideration of buffer zones and statutory planning policies.

Bath City Council, for example, has collated all planning appeal decisions made on behalFof the Secretary of State for the Environment relating to World Heritage sites.

'The Forum has had some contact through individual members with similar groups of Local Authorities in other countries and would also be interested to learn of any similar local authority-based groups to share experiences and ideas,' Mr Williams, who is also Deputy Director of Planning and Environmental Services at Wrekin Council, said.

As well as working on the development of the national structure, work has also been under way to modernize the local management of the Ironbridge Gorge site.

A strategy group made up of agencies with a major stake in the management of The Gorge through their statutory functions and presence has been set up. This includes the three local authorities with responsibilities for the area -- Shropshire County Council, Wrekin Council, Bridgnorth District Council -- as well as the Severn Gorge Countryside Trust, English Heritage and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

Representation is by the appropriate elected or Board members and senior officers.

The Group discusses and sets the strategy for the management of the Site and has commissioned an Inter-Agency Group to prepare a management plan setting its terms of reference and timetable.

A report prepared for ICOMOS U.K. on behalFof the Department of the Environment is also being used to advise the preparation of the management plan.

Once it is completed, the plan will be used to set the framework for a 'rolling' business plan that brings together the proposed objectives, spending and activities of the various agencies over the forthcoming year.

Obviously this will take a number of years to become properly established, but it should lead to much more efficient efforts, which can then also be better targeted by everyone concerned.

Councillor Davis said: 'Living in Shropshire and being the local politician responsible for planning in my town, I feel privileged to play a part in protecting and enhancing the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage site, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution...Locally, we are creating a wider understanding of the unique importance of Ironbridge, and our local strategy group is only the second in the U.K. -- the other covers the Hadrian's Wall management plan.'

World Heritage work has to be considered just like other forms of environmentalism -- we need to think globally and act locally. The U.K. Local Authorities World Heritage Sites Forum aims to make sure those aims are paramount.

Global strategy: The Harare Meeting

During its sixteenth session in Santa Fe (United States of America), in 1992, the Committee reiterated its wish to establish a well-balanced and fully representative List of the different cultures of the world. To this end, the Centre and ICOMOS organised an expert meeting from 20 to 22 June 1994, attended by representatives from the different regions of the world and disciplines concerned (see The World Heritage Newsletter, No. 6, December 1994, pages 4 and 5).

These experts underlined how the development of knowledge and the process of reflection within the international scientific community over the past 20 years had led to an evolution in the content and the extension of the concept of cultural heritage, and to the abandonment of a basically 'monumental' vision, for a far more anthropological and global conception of material evidence of the different cultures of the world. This material evidence is no longer considered in isolation, but rather in the context of its multiple relationships to its physical and non-physical environment.

The experts also emphasized that the List, as it is now, presented major imbalances. Europe, Christianity, 'monumental' architecture and historic periods are very much over-represented to the notable disadvantage of the technological and archaeological heritage, the heritage of non-European cultures and, more generally, of all living cultures, especially those of 'traditional' societies.

They stressed that African cultural heritage is especially under-represented on the List (17 sites inscribed under at least one cultural criterion in eight out of the 28 States Parties from western and Sub-Saharan Africa), in spite of its tremendous archaeological, technological, architectural and spiritual wealth, its ways oForganizing and using land and space, its network system for trade and the exchange of ideas and goods, etc.

After having warmly adopted the recommendations of the experts and in order to help remedy this weakness, the Committee, at its eighteenth session in 1994, requested that the Centre and ICOMOS organize a first meeting in Africa in autumn 1995, with high-level international scientific experts and with States Parties and other States not yet party to the Convention from the region. This meeting was intended to help define and identify the types of African cultural properties which are likely to be eligible for inscription on the World Heritage List on the part of these States Parties, without neglecting those which, while not conveying an 'outstanding universal value', nevertheless represent a remarkable regional or national value. The meeting was also to be considered a first step for a Global Strategy to improve the representative nature of the List, to be carried out over several years.

Following consultations with university professors and scientific researchers (specialists on Africa and the Convention), and after having convened an expert committee of international repute to initiate this project, the Centre and ICOMOS organized in Harare (Zimbabwe) from 11 to 13 October 1995 -- in close co-operation with the national authorities of the Monuments and Museums (NMMZ) and UNESCO's sub-regional Office -- a first Global Strategy meeting to help define and identify types of African cultural properties likely to be the subject of nominations to the List.

All the African experts that were invited were able to attend -- that is, some 35 participants from 13 States Parties or States not yet party to the Convention from the region (Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

The meeting had been preceded by a review and analysis of the African cultural properties presently on the List, and an initial approach of the types of African properties which are likely to be the subject of nominations to the List. Documents relating to these themes were sent in advance to the participants. The meeting was organized around six major themes:

The Convention, the concept of cultural heritage today and of African heritage in general 'Archaeological' heritage Traditional knowledge and technical heritage 'Spiritual' and religious heritage Human settlements and cultural landscapes Cultural itineraries and exchange routes.

All the participants had previously examined in depth the 14 papers, as well as the background documents on the Global Strategy. They all completely agreed with this new approach to the Convention, which they deemed to be well-suited, innovative and which would allow types of cultural properties which are little or not represented on the List at all -- although they are essential for many of the world's cultures --- to be taken into consideration.

Among the subjects covered, three should be especially underlined, as they led to discussions which are at the heart of the intellectual dimension of the Convention's implementation: the total interpenetration and inseparability of nature and culture in African societies; spiritual and sacred heritage and its physical foundations; and the particularities of the notion of cultural landscape in Africa.

The evening of 12 October and part of the next day were devoted to the practical study of the Convention and its Guidelines. Five working groups, each one concentrating on one of the scientific themes of the meeting, were true 'pedagogical exercises'. Assisted by either an international expert or a member of the UNESCO Secretariat, the African experts reviewed the cultural criteria and criteria for authenticity contained in the Guidelines, the concept of cultural landscape and cultural itineraries as well as technological heritage, preparing, in the form of an exercise, the first drafts of tentative lists, to see if the Convention and the Guidelines would sufficiently take into consideration the cultural heritage of the region. A number of reflections and concrete proposals emerged from this event.

At the meeting's end, the participants very warmly thanked the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO for having organized this meeting, which had allowed so many of them to get together for the first time -- they all knew each other's names and reputations, but some had never before met. They also thanked the Committee for having adopted this Global Strategy and reaffirmed their interest in the Convention which, until then, had seemed to them not well adapted to their particular concerns. The Republic of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana announced that they would be speeding up the process of ratification of the Convention, which was to take effect in 1996.

They unanimously affirmed their desire to begin work on the tentative lists as soon as they returned home and decided to meet again in Harare in July 1996 to harmonise the lists and co-ordinate them on a sub-regional basis, with the help of experts. They expressed to the Committee their conviction that the Global Strategy must be followed by other sub-regional meetings in Africa.

At its twentieth session in Berlin, in December 1995, the Committee warmly welcomed the information given about this meeting and the proposals for 1996. It asked the Centre and ICOMOS to continue to give priority to African cultural heritage, and to organize a second meeting in Ethiopia for the Sudano-Sahelian and Horn of Africa area (from Libya and Niger to the eastern coast). The Committee also noted that one of the coming meetings on Global Strategy might be organized to consider cultural heritage of the Caribbean.

The complete report of the Harare meeting, presently being published as a book, will be widely distributed in 1996.

The 17 African cultural sites
Benin Royal Palaces of Abomey

Ethiopia Rock-hewn Churches, Lalibela
Fasil Ghebi
Lower Valley of the Awash
Lower Valley of the Omo

Ghana Forts and Castles, Volta Greater
Accra, Central and Western Regions
Ashante Traditional Buildings

MaliOld Towns of Djenné
ClifFof Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons) (mixed site)

Mozambique Island of Mozambique

United Republic
of Tanzania
Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara

Senegal Island of Gorée

Zimbabwe Great Zimbabwe National Monument
Khami Ruins

World Heritage and the Republic of Armenia

Armenia contains important monuments of the prehistoric, Urartian and Hellenistic periods, but is chiefly noted for churches and monasteries of early-Christian and medieval date. As the first country in the world to embrace Christianity as its official religion, in A.D. 301, it is appropriate that many of these buildings are outstanding, both in their concept and quality of workmanship.

Because of its location in the Caucasus, much of Armenia is mountainous, with a very varied landscape. In the northern region of Lori, the mountains are covered with broad-leaf forest. Beyond Lake Sevan in the north east, Dilijan has Alpine scenery, with forested lower slopes giving way to bare mountain tops. In the centre of the country, the snow-capped peaks of Mount Ararat overlook a plain, which separates the bare hills of Shirak to the north from the rugged valleys of Siunik to the south. The impact of this spectacular landscape has been reflected in the proposed nominations for World Heritage status, which contain a number oFof mixed (cultural and natural) sites. As a sequel to a UNESCO intersectoral mission the previous year, in 1995 UNESCO sent a mission to Armenia, which assisted the concerned authorities in the preparation of the tentative list and first nomination.


The first site to be nominated comprises the monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin as a single World Heritage Site with two monument zones. These two large complexes, formerly important centres of learning, are a few kilometres apart on the southern side of the Debed gorge and have many similarities, including their date. For example, the principal churches date from the late tenth century and were built by the consort of King Ashot III Bagratuni. Both monasteries contain subsidiary churches, gavits (vaulted rooms used for meetings, unique to Armenian architecture), libraries and thirteenth-century bell towers, of which the one aThaghpat is outstanding. The buildings at Sanahin are arranged in a rectangular block, but HaghpaThas an organic plan, with buildings scattered over a grassy knoll, surrounded by a fortified wall. Although the complexes reached their present form in the thirteenth century, they continued in use into this and aThaghpat the library has large wine jars buried in the floor in Aless learned and more bucolic age. The monastic kitchen aThaghpat provides an early example of a roof with Atimber dome of Atype also found in traditional houses in parts of Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. Haghpat and Sanahin villages are adjacent to the monastic buildings. The Armenian Commission for the Protection of Monuments has devised a hierarchy of protection zones to preserve the authenticity of the setting, which deserves emulation elsewhere. This even extends to protecting the best viewpoints from which the monuments can be seen.


The Armenian tentative list was drawn up as a result of wide consultation, and was finalized at the end of the mission, following a round-table discussion between Armenian experts from both government and independent organizations. In two cases, both concerning the nomination of mixed sites, the date at which nominations can be submitted depends on the preparation of a wide range of evidence indicating their cultural and natural importance. In other cases, a management plan is needed to demonstrate the authorities' commitment to maintaining the authenticity of the sites and their settings. Their realistic attitude to solving any problems of management indicates that the administration of the sites after inscription will be of high quality. Such considerations are important in maintaining the value of the World Heritage List and therefore deserve discussion, as well as the process by which nominations are formulated.


The large, fourth-century basilica of Yererouk, roofless since the seventeenth century, is one of the earliest churches in Armenia and has affinities with monuments in Syria. The church was constructed in an arid landscape near the Akhurian (Arpa Chai) gorge, on a slight peak pierced by natural caves, perhaps venerated in pre-Christian times. The basilica was located in an enclosure, which also contains the ruins of later monastic buildings and the houses of a medieval village. A shallow valley to the east was dammed for irrigation, which would have made the area more hospitable than it is today. Higher up this valley is a semi-subterranean structure, possibly a cistern.

An earthquake in 1988 resulted in the tilting of some of the walls, but not their collapse. They have been stabilized with steel shoring installed with the assistance of the American National Parks Service and the World Monument Fund. American experts carried out a photogrammetric survey of the basilica after the earthquake. Engineering works will stabilize the walls, but additional conservation is needed for the excavated remains of the buildings which surrounded the church on the south and west. The setting of the monument also requires management. Its site is separated from the nearby gorge by a double frontier fence, a relic of the former Soviet Union. The removal or diversion of the fence below the lip of the gorge would allow the basilicAto be seen in relation to the landscape beyond, now part of Turkey. To the northwest of the church is a quarry, where the ban on blasting, imposed after the earthquake, has hitherto not been strictly observed. The workers live beside the quarry in the unattractive modern village of Ani Pemza, which should be screened from the monument by close-planted poplars. The villagers themselves could be involved in providing facilities for visitors to this isolated site.


The cathedral of Zvartnots was built by Katholikos Nerses III, the Builder, between 642 and 662 and collapsed as a result of earthquake damage in the tenth century. This large building had a highly unusual but influential design, as the circular external walls enclosed internally a quatrefoil of free-standing columns which supported the upper parts of the structure. In elevation, the design consisted of three diminishing drums, with two lower lean-to roofs and a conical dome on the highest drum. After its collapse, the site became a grass-covered mound, but archaeological excavations in the first decade of this century uncovered well-preserved stonework. This has made possible the partial reconstruction of the monument by Alimited programme of anastylosis, starting in 1985, which will help to make the building more comprehensible to visitors. To the south of the cathedral lie the excavated remains of the patriarchal palace and a winery, ruins which also require conservation. The nearby museum was destroyed in a fire, fortunately without damaging the stones exhibited inside, and is now being rebuilt on an adjacent site.

The main road from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, westwards to Echmiadzin, the present seat of the katholikos, is a focus for commercial development. The archaeological site of Zvartnots is separated from this road by a short drive and strict controls over the adjacent areas are therefore necessary to preserve the authenticity of the monument's setting. The nomination documents will include details of these, as well as detailed information on the analysis of collapsed stonework and the limits to which anastylosis will be taken.


Geghard, still an active monastery, lies surrounded by cliffs at the head of the Azad valley. A spring in a cave appears to have been the original focus for worship and the construction of the first monastery, subsequently destroyed by the Arabs in the seventh century. The earliest part of the later monastery is a cave church excavated in 1177. A second, free-standing, church was constructed in 1215 and ten years later a gavit was built to link the two. The prosperity of the monastery in the thirteenth century was due to the patronage of the Proshyan princes, who carved out a second cave church in 1283, reached through a rock-cut antechamber which served as their mausoleum. The burials are in a recess behind twin arches, over which two felines on leashes and an eagle with Alamb in its talons, the family's armorial bearings, have been sculpted in bold relief. A second gavit, dug from the rock at a higher level in 1288, is reached through Atunnel carved with crosses in relief. The post-medieval monastic buildings form a quadrangle on the southern side of the churches, but the medieval monks lived in the many caves and oratories cut into nearby cliffs. The monastery of Geghard is a unique cultural site, but its importance is also due to its spectacular setting. It nomination as a mixed site therefore requires evaluation of its importance as a natural site in addition.


The monastery of Noravank is reached by passing through a rocky defile which opens out into the Amaghou valley, now uninhabited. The site is situated on the side of this valley, surrounded by red and grey limestone cliffs. The main church dates to 1221, but it is the buildings added in the following century, designed by Momik, an architect and stone carver of remarkable originality, that makes the monument outstanding. In 1321 he added a gavit to the west of the church, with an interior in the form of a curved pyramid unsupported by internal columns, and in 1339 built the remarkable two-storey mortuary church of the Mother of God for Prince Burtel Orbelyan. The upper church is reached by steps cantilevered out from the west front, descending symmetrically downwards from the first-floor doorway. The collapsed stonework of the dome has been recorded in detail by the Commission for the Protection of Monuments and a matrix prepared showing the relationships of different stones. This scholarly investigation forms the basis for the project for reconstructing the dome by anastylosis. As well as designing the buildings, Momik was also responsible for carving four notable tympana, two over the door and window in the west front of the gavit and the two others over the doors of the mortuary church. Like Geghard, Noravank also derives much of its character from its natural setting. The conglomerate which underlies the limestone contains an extensive cave complex. Speleologists will therefore form part of the team of experts preparing the nomination.


The large monastery of Tatev stands on the side of the Vorotan gorge in southern Armenia, protected on two sides by precipices and on the other two by strong walls pierced by gun loops. Built against the walls on all but the eastern side are post-medieval monastic buildings, used into this century, before the monastery was ruined by an earthquake in 1931. In the middle of the enclosure stands the large church of SS Peter and Paul, dated 895-908, with a nineteenth-century belfry built against the west end. In an angle of the south wall is the chapel of St. Gregory the Illuminator, built in 1295, which has exterior walls entirely covered with carved crosses. In the courtyard to the south of this is a medieval memorial in the form of a cross on a column, the base of which is claimed to have contained a mechanism which allowed it to sway. Whatever the truth, it stands rigidly vertical today. The ninth-century church of the Mother of God stands in the north-eastern corner of the precinct, built aThigh level as part of the defences. Directly outside these is the monastic mill, with a vertical stone wheel still in place. Tatev is well recorded in engravings and photographs which predate the earthquake. These have been used as the basis for a reconstruction programme which is nearing completion, as little except the belfry now remains in ruins.

The Vorotan valley, at this point 850 metres deep, contains a number of sites of cultural and natural significance. Directly below the medieval monastery is the dependant monastery of Tatevi Anapat ('Tatev in the Desert'), founded in the seventeenth century to house Alarge number of anchorites. On the opposite site of the valley is the small, tenth-century, church of Tsakut. Tatev is comparable in date to the monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin, already nominated for World Heritage status. Its nomination as a mixed site therefore depends on demonstrating the importance of its natural aspects. In addition to the landscape, these include geology, as part of the valley floor through which the river runs is Alarge, collapsed cave, a section of the rooFof which still survives as 'Satan's Bridge' (Satanikamurg), in an area of hot springs.

The valleys in which Geghard and Noravank are situated, also proposed for nomination as mixed sites, are on a smaller scale and unspoilt. The Tatev nomination, however, requires a management plan to define the means by which the setting of the monument will be improved. The new access road has made a scar as it zig-zags down one side of the valley and up the other and its impact needs to be reduced by landscaping. Electricity power lines pass close to the monastic precinct and a section needs to be put underground, so that pylons adjacent to the monument can be removed. Schemes exist to establish an ecclesiastical college at Tatev and to develop the tourist potential of the area, controls over which must be specified in the nomination documents.


In some instances, a site can be included in the tentative list with little chance of immediate nomination. Such a case is the city of Dvin, an archaeological site of considerable significance. Although there is evidence oFoccupation from the early Bronze Age, the city did not rise to prominence until the fourth century A.D., when it became the capital of the Arsacsid kings of Armenia. It subsequently served as a regional capital for the Sasanian empire, the Arab caliphate and the Seljuk Turks, retaining its importance until destruction by the Mongols in 1236 led to its desertion. Located in the Ararat plain, the city was protected by a mud-brick perimeter wall and an internal citadel on a slight elevation. Archaeological excavation since 1937, mostly concentrated in the citadel and the religious centre of the city, below it to the west, has found between seven and eight metres of stratigraphy.

The structures on the citadel are all of mud brick. The cathedral, built in the fourth or fifth centuries and remodelled in the early seventh, was a stone-built basilica. This was the venue of ecclesiastical councils which codified the beliefs of the Monophysite churches of eastern Christendom. Contemporary with the construction of the cathedral is the first patriarchal palace, a mud-brick basilica with timber columns on stone plinths. During the period of Sasanian domination, the western end was converted into a Mazdaian fire temple. This palace was destroyed in 571 and was replaced in the seventh century by a stone-built palace on the opposite side of the cathedral, which has Atiled floor from the period when it was used as a mosque.

Earth structures in an archaeological context last indefinitely when left buried where standing earthworks are protected by turf, but excavated mud-brick walls exposed to the elements present considerable problems of conservation. Advances have been made in the repair of earth structures during the last decade, one technique being the addition of sacrificial layers of new sun-dried bricks, which have to be replaced at regular intervals. The stone structures at Dvin can be easily conserved using masonry techniques appropriate to ruined monuments, but the effective conservation of the site as a whole requires the matter of the earth structures to be addressed. In addition to conservation problems, Dvin also requires planning controls over the three villages which cover parts of the ancient city. An archaeological protection zone already exists preventing further development, but not the rebuilding of existing houses and the consequent disturbance to cultural levels which that might entail. The cultivation of the remaining area of the city should not cause concern unless agricultural practices change and ploughing is carried out to greater depths. The nomination of this important site to the World Heritage List will require a comprehensive management plan which covers all such matters.


The process of selection of natural sites for nomination to the World Heritage List is not yet complete. The recent UNESCO mission was concerned with cultural issues, but visited the monastery of Haghartsin, which, together with that of Goshavank, may become part of a natural site based on the state protected area of Dilijan, an important forest in north-eastern Armenia. Haghartsin is located on the flank of a wooded valley. The principal church was built in 1281 in a mixture of limestone and volcanic stone, but is predated by most of the other buildings on the site, which include a church of 1011, entered through a twelfth-century gavit, as well as a small church dated 1244. The most oustanding structure is the refectory, built by the architect Minas in 1248, which is roofed with two domes, each supported on twin, intersecting, arches.


The process of preparing the Armenian tentative list demonstrates that, however important the monuments for nomination may be, plans concerning how each World Heritage site is to be managed need to be prepared before any nomination is made. Preparation of the nomination document itself may involve a wide range of disciplines and consultation with experts in a number of fields.

New prospects for training strategy for Africa South of the Sahara

Each of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention pledges 'to ensure that effective and active measures are taken for the protection, conservation, and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage situated in its territory.' Article 5 of the Convention states that to that end, every State Party shall 'endeavour ... to foster the establishment or development of national or regional centres for training in the protection and conservation of cultural heritage.'

The cultural heritage in all its forms can only be conserved by trained specialists. Formal training in modern methods, as well as traditional techniques, are increasingly necessary. For this combination to be defined and applied, however, research is also required. For example, we still do not know enough about the effects of modern life on the integrity of many age-old materials. In the industrialised world where heritage conservation is a well-established social practice, many research and training institutions exist. Elsewhere, however, they are very limited. ICCROM has already made a major contribution towards developing new training networks, particularly by instructing trainers, but much more progress needs to be made through new partnerships between organisations active in this field.

Training is considered to be of vital importance by the World Heritage Convention, and the World Heritage Fund grants financial assistance to encourage training activities. In recent years funding for training activities have been given preferentially to groups in situ. However, the Fund has also contributed generously to international courses organized by ICCROM, ICOMOS, and the Brazilian Institute for Cultural Heritage in Bahia. Over the past five years, roughly US$ 450,000 have been earmarked each year by the World Heritage Committee for training activities of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention. This amount, however, which has to be shared equally between cultural and natural sites, falls far short of the total that would be needed to honour the requests submitted every year. With the increasing number of inscriptions on the World Heritage List (there are now 469 properties inscribed), training needs are growing exponentially. Additional funds have become indispensable. But it is equally imperative to establish priorities so that optimal use can be made of the limited resources that can be available to the World Heritage Fund. It is in this spirit that the World Heritage Committee requested the World Heritage Centre to elaborate a strategy to train a qualified cadre of cultural property and site managers. This strategy is to be submitted to the next session of the Committee in December 1996. It will be based on a set of principles adopted by the latter in December 1995, which are the following:

the strategy should be based on a regional approach; basic training needs should be assessed on the basis of the main characteristics of the heritage whose conservation is to be ensured; and, optimal use should be made of the potential of the region's existing training institutions and/or networks.

It is common knowledge that there is a great paucity of reliable information concerning Africa south of the Sahara, making it practically impossible to design adequate policy guidelines. The World Heritage Centre, ICCROM and CRATerre-EAG (under the umbrella of the GAIA project) have together launched a survey that aims to fill this knowledge gap. A questionnaire now being designed will be sent to individuals and institutions in most countries south of the Sahara. In addition, the World Heritage Centre and the Division of Cultural Heritage, UNESCO is mobilising its powerful network of National Commissions and, of course, its Field Offices. These partners have willingly agreed to play an active role in the most crucial phase of the survey by helping to ensure that the greatest possible number of questionnaires would be filled in and returned to the World Heritage Centre in good time. The Centre has promised to distribute the analysis of the questionnaires, and publicize the training strategy which will be adopted in December 1996 by the World Heritage Committee. On the basis of these broad policy guidelines, it will be possible to prepare training programmes tailor-made to the specific needs of each geocultural region.

The analysis of the questionnaire will be examined by a meeting of experts in the autumn of this year. The meeting is expected to define overall as well as regional policy guidelines which the World Heritage Centre will then submit for approval to the Committee in December 1996. The strategy which emerges must promote a more efficient allocation of funds by the World Heritage Committee as well as encourage specialized institutions at regional or interregional level to design training programmes aimed at targeted audiences. It is expected that a whole range of projects will be prepared by various partners to train local personnel for the safeguard of their cultural heritage. It will, we hope, durably transform the prospects for the future of the cultural heritage throughout the region.

In May 1996, a workshop for francophone cultural site managers in Western Africa will also be organized by the World Heritage Centre. It will take place in Mali. Participants from twelve countries will share their experiences and become acquainted with the concepts and procedures which are at the heart of the World Heritage Convention. Through an analysis of the threats facing World Heritage and other sites in the region, they will discuss common conservation issues and more particularly envisage the setting-up of appropriate structures to ensure that sites are properly monitored. With the co-operation of an international experts team -- composed of the Secretary General of ICOMOS, Mr J.-L. Luxen; Mr Mbaye Bassine Dieng, Directeur du Patrimoine Historique et Ethnographique and former representative of Senegal to the World Heritage Committee; and former UNESCO staff member and Chief Technical Adviser for UNDP in Latin America, Mr S. Mutal -- they will also prepare a manual on monitoring which will detail a number of priority actions which need to be taken. Another practical guide will also be prepared in order to lay out in practical terms the nomination procedure, including the preparation of Tentative Lists. Participants are expected to organize, upon their return, national training sessions to disseminate the findings of the workshop, and more particularly oversee that the two manuals are used by professional and technical staff, who have the custody of cultural sites. The evaluation of this workshop will determine whether similar activities will be carried out in future years.

As we are all aware, immovable cultural heritage is an essential tool for understanding history and civilizations, particularly those of Africa south of the Sahara, where written sources are scarce. Unfortunately, the looting of archaeological sites and villages by antique dealers, economic development which discourages traditional techniques, and competing demands for scarce financial resources, are three factors, among others, that increasingly threaten the uniqueness and integrity of cultural heritage. In that context, the World Heritage Committee has come to consider training imperative for the safeguarding of our common heritage.

The WH Convention in Latin America and the Caribbean

The first sites to be inscribed on the World Heritage List were from Latin America: at its second session in 1978, the World Heritage Committee put the Galapagos Islands, registration number one, and the City of Quito, number two, on the List.

Since then, in the region, 27 countries have adhered to the Convention and the number of World Heritage sites has reached 62 -- with 45 cultural, 14 natural and three mixed cultural and natural sites.

A closer look at the list of States Parties shows that while virtually all of the larger countries in the region have adhered to the Convention, many of the small island states in the Caribbean have not. Furthermore, only 18 States Parties have presented, in one form or the other, Atentative list and only eleven of these fully meet the requirements. It is no surprise that the 19 States Parties with one or more sites on the World Heritage LisThave most benefitted from assistance under the World Heritage Fund.

In order to examine the state of the implementation of the Convention in Latin America and the Caribbean and to identify fields for future actions and co-operation, two regional meetings were held with the participation of decision-makers and specialists in cultural and natural heritage from practically all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.


The initiative for this meeting, which was sponsored by the World Heritage Committee, was taken by the Director of Cultural Heritage of the Colombian Institute for Culture (COLCULTURA), Ms Olga Pizano, who was the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee in 1994. The meeting took place from 9 to 11 May 1995 in the World Heritage city of Cartagena (Colombia), and brought together the directors of cultural heritage from 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico (United States of America), Uruguay, Venezuela). Representatives of ICOMOS, ICCROM and the World Heritage Centre also attended. Some experts were invited in their personal and professional capacity.

The participants each reported on the implementation of the Convention in their country. They also examined the different activities and programmes that are undertaken under the World Heritage Convention and prepared a set of recommendations for future actions. In the discussions, particular attention was given to the role of the World Heritage Convention as a vehicle for regional co-operation and networking. In this sense, it was recommended that each of the countries identify a World Heritage 'focal point' who would be responsible for the promotion of the Convention within the country, the co-ordination of actions between different ministries and agencies, site managers, etc. These focal points should also be instrumental in establishing regional co-operation and improved communications with UNESCO.

The Latin American situation clearly illustrates a worldwide geographical, typological and temporal imbalance and lack of representativity of the World Heritage List concerning cultural properties. Almost 40 per cent of the cultural sites are archaeological ones. Alittle less than 60 per cent of them are from the colonial period, the great majority of which are historic urban areas. Only two sites, the Citadel in Haiti and the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia, represent the post-colonial era. Traditional and contemporary architecture, industrial heritage, cultural landscapes and expressions of living cultures are practically absent among the Latin American World Heritage sites. The participants, therefore, welcomed the introduction of the Global Strategy, under which Athematic study will be undertaken in 1997 on cultural landscapes in the Andean region, and recommended such Athematic approach in other fields as well. In the meantime, Colombia has taken the initiative for a study on fortifications in the Caribbean.

In analyzing the training needs in the region, the meeting concluded that use should be made of existing training facilities and that training activities should be supported on three levels, that is, training:

on the academic level; in specific conservation techniques; and in site management and conservation planning.

Based on this recommendation and in response to requests made by States Parties, the World Heritage Committee has approved financial support for a coherent set of training activities in 1996, such as the inter-regional postgraduate course in the conservation of monuments and the rehabilitation of historical cities in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; a Master's programme in heritage conservation in Argentina; Atraining seminar for site managers of archaeological World Heritage sites in Central America; and an inter-regional course on the conservation of earthen heritage in Chan Chan in Peru.

Finally, the participants exchanged experiences and ideas on the monitoring and reporting on the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. As reported in The World Heritage Newsletter No. 5, a pilot monitoring programme was undertaken in Latin America and the Caribbean through the UNDP/UNESCO Regional Project for Cultural Heritage. This programme resulted in state of conservation reports on all cultural World Heritage sites in the region. A summary report was presented to the World Heritage Committee at its session in December 1994. All country representatives expressed satisfaction with the results of this programme which in many cases contributed to an increased awareness of the World Heritage designation of the sites and a stronger commitment to their preservation. At the same time, they supported the decision of the World Heritage Committee to attribute to the States Parties themselves the responsibility of monitoring the conditions of the World Heritage sites and the reporting of its results to the Committee. The working documents for the meeting, the country reports and the final document were published (in Spanish) by the Colombian Institute for Culture in October 1995.

The specific recommendations contained in the final document of this first meeting of directors of cultural heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean form the basis for the activities that the World Heritage Centre develops in the region, particularly for the identification of potential World Heritage sites, training and monitoring and reporting. The focal points, like all UNESCO field offices and National Commissions for UNESCO, are informed regularly of World Heritage related issues.


The Caribbean region is certainly not very actively involved in the World Heritage Convention -- compared to Central America and the Latin American continent. Many countries have still not adhered to the Convention and only five World Heritage sites are located in the Caribbean. Therefore, a separate workshop was held for the Caribbean on 13 and 14 March 1996. The workshop, which took place in connection with the Seventh Regional Cultural Committee Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), was hosted by the government of St. Kitts and Nevis and was organized in collaboration between the secretariat of CARICOM, the UNESCO sub-regional adviser for culture and the World Heritage Centre. More than 30 participants attended, from both the natural and cultural fields -- from States Parties to the World Heritage Convention (Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Christopher and Nevis and St. Lucia), non-States Parties (Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago) and territories of the Netherlands (Netherlands Antilles and Aruba) and the United Kingdom (Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Virgin Islands). Representatives of ICOMOS, CARICOM and the Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA) also attended the workshop. Considerable time was dedicated to the presentation of the Convention -- its objectives and mechanisms, and to discussions on the role that small island states could play in its implementation. All country representatives reported on their cultural and natural legislation and institutional framework, specific problems they encounter in their preservation efforts and the extent to which these are compatible and complementary -- or contradictory -- to development policies and cultural or eco-tourism interests. It was of particular interest to see that many countries have the protection of the cultural and the natural heritage resources integrated in one 'National Trust Act', whereas others have strictly separate legal instruments and institutions. Most of the participants underlined the important role of non-governmental organizations in the identification, management and preservation of cultural and natural sites.

A good example of such a mechanism is St. Christopher and Nevis itself, where the National Conservation and Environment Protection Act delegates the management, preservation and operation of the Brimstone Hill Fortress to a non-governmental non-profit organization, the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society. A visit to this site gave the participants the opportunity to appreciate the visitor facilities and professional conservation practices.

An opinion expressed strongly at the workshop was that the Convention should be complementary to national and regional preservation efforts, in particular in a region where the application of the legislation encounters serious difficulties and where tourism pressure is already extremely high. In this sense, the Convention, and the workshop itself, was seen more as a platform or vehicle for regional co-operation than as a goal in itself. It was requested that the World Heritage Centre strengthen its collaboration with individual countries (both States Parties and non-States Parties!) and with territories, as well as with regional entities such as CARICOM and the Caribbean Conservation Association.

Many of the participants felt that considerable work should be done on the national and regional level to develop adequate legislation and institutional arrangements for heritage protection and management. A serious follow-up was requested to the UNDP/UNESCO regional museum development project, which developed a model cultural heritage legislation which should now be adapted to the realities of each of the countries. Strong training needs were expressed in the management and presentation of sites.

Regarding the identification of potential World Heritage sites, national inventories must be completed and thematic studies undertaken. Great interest was expressed in the thematic study on fortifications in the Caribbean that will be undertaken by Colombia, and in the global strategy meeting for the Caribbean that is scheduled for early 1998 in Fort de France, Martinique. Several themes were suggested for further study, such as the Arawak and Carib heritage, plantation systems, naval history and cultural landscapes.

Awareness-building, and educational and promotional programmes targeted at the public at large, politicians and professionals were mentioned as priority areas -- for example, through educational activities for young people, heritage days, award certificates to institutions and individuals for good conservation practices, and the involvement of professionals and students in inventory and documentation. A full integration of the region in the Latin American and Caribbean Information System (SICLAC), Internet, data bases and other communication systems was considered of the utmost importance.

World Heritage Exhibition and Multimedia CD-ROM -- From ideAto exhibition

In autumn 1993 the Lšnnstršm Art Museum in Rauma, Finland had the ideAto start collecting a world heritage exhibition. They contacted the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO, the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments and representatives of the World Heritage sites in Finland -- Old Rauma and Suomenlinna Fortress Islands. The project was launched when UNESCO granted funds from the Participation Programme. In December 1994, the PetŠjŠvesi old church was included in the World Heritage List and hence also in the exhibition.

The World Heritage Exhibition opened in Rauma on 17 March 1995. The introduction orients the public to UNESCO's activities, especially the World Heritage Convention and Committee. While listening to international music, the spectator learns about many listed sites from all over the world through pictures and texts. All the Nordic sites and some sites in neighbouring countries are presented in more detail, with a special emphasis on the three Finnish World Heritage Sites.

The exhibition moved to Suomenlinna for the summer, and from there to the third site, PetŠjŠvesi for the autumn. The organisers intend to tour the exhibition as widely as possible in museums and schools all over Finland and possibly abroad.

World Heritage Multimedia Programme

From the outset, the organizers began planning a multimedia programme to accompany the exhibition. The collection of material began in September 1994, and a work copy was already available for the opening of the exhibition. The material was used on an experimental basis in Rauma until mid-June. In the meantime, the programme was further developed, and the users were also asked for feedback. The technical realisation of the programme was assigned to a Finnish media company with Along experience of multimedia production. The programme was produced by the Lšnnstršm Museum.

The multimedia programme is designed to complement the exhibition, but it also works as an independent data bank. It contains information about the background and principles of the World Heritage Convention and presents World Heritage sites from the four corners of the world. At present, the programme covers over 50 of the 469 listed sites, describing them with pictures and words. The Nordic sites are depicted in more detail. The material on the Finnish sites is comprehensive -- photos, videos, site plans and architectural designs, living local culture in audio form and complementary texts in writing and in audio form. This information gives an in-depth picture of the valuable buildings and their restoration. The multimedia has an audio background of ethno-music composed for this programme. An ethno-ensemble from the city of Pori plays variations on two themes in the musical traditions of different parts of the world.

The multimedia is composed of pictures, maps, written and spoken texts, video images as well as music and other sound effects. The programme can be viewed in any order, according to one's own preferences. The main menu begins with the world map, from which the viewer can go to any site. Composed of more than 400 colour pictures, 30 minutes of video and dozens of text pages, the whole programme takes several hours.

The World Heritage Multimedia will be available on CD-ROM in June 1996. The CD is produced by Edita in Helsinki. The programme is very useful as Ateaching package for schools and other educational establishments. As the CD will be produced in three languages (Finnish, Swedish and English) it will also be well suited for international distribution.

For further information please contact: Ms Helka Ketonen, Director of the Lšnnstršm Art Museum or Ms Maija Koskinen, Curator Address: Valtakatu 7, 26100 Rauma, Finland Phone: (358-38) 824 0353 Fax: (358-38) 823 9634 Mr Jaakko Antti-Poika, Director of the Governing Body of Suomenlinna or Mr Heikki LahdenmŠki, Planning Chief Address: The Governing Body of Suomenlinna, Suomenlinna C 40, 00190 Helsinki, Finland Phone: (358-0) 228 231 Fax: (358-0) 2282 3280

Malta pledges US$ 1.8 million for the preservation of its cultural heritage

During his visit to Malta, from 4 to 6 January 1995, Mr Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO, was informed that Malta had set up a US$ 1.8 million programme for the preservation and enhancement of its cultural heritage -- especially its proto-historic sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and its museums.

Mr Mayor, being shown the plans of the Archaeological Park by Mr Anthony Pace, Curator of Archaeology, aThagar Qim. Next to Mr Pace is Dr Tancrèd Gouder, Director of Museums. Also seen are (left) Dr Michael Refalo, Minister of Justice and the Arts, Mr Richard Muscat, Parliamentary Secretary in the same Ministry, and (right) Dr Tanya Vella, Deputy Permanent Delegate at the Maltese Embassy in Paris, who represents Malta on the World Heritage Committee.


21 April: Session on "European cultural landscapes of outstanding universal value" (ICOMOS/Austrian National Commission for UNESCO/Austria Nostra/WHC). Vienna, Austria.

21 May: Inauguration of the UNESCO House (Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO/UNESCO). Vilnius, Lithuania.

13 to 18 May: Subregional training seminar for site managers from francophone African countries (MAB/Delegation of Niger to UNESCO/WHC). Niamey, Niger.

21 and 22 May: Seminar for the presentation of Historic Centre of Tallinn (Municipality of Tallinn). Tallinn, Estonia.

23 to 26 May: Round Table 'World Heritage between conservation and development - the issue of cultural tourism' (Croatian and German National Commissions for UNESCO/WHC). Dubrovnik, Croatia.

25 to 31 May: European World Heritage Youth Forum 'Mini-Bergen I' (UNESCO/Croatian National Commission for UNESCO/City of Dubrovnik/Rhöne-Poulenc). Dubrovnik, Croatia.

27 to 29 May: International conference 'Historic Cities of Ukraine: Problems of preservation in L'viv' (ICOMOS Ukraine/National Committee on urban development and architecture/Municipality of L'viv). L'viv, Ukraine.

10 to 13 June: Meeting on the heritage of the 20th century (ICOMOS Mexico and Canada/Universita autonoma de Mexico). Mexico City, Mexico.

13 and 14 June: Meeting on the support to the cultural heritage of the Maghreb countries (Italian Government/ ICCROM/UNESCO/Morocco/Algeria/Tunisia). Rabat, Morocco.

24 to 29 June: 20th session of the World Heritage Bureau. UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.

29 July to 1 August: Second Global Strategy Meeting for the Sudano-Sahelian and Horn of Africa area (UNESCO/ ICOMOS). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

mid-September: World Heritage Youth Forum for African anglophone countries 'Mini-Bergen II' (UNESCO/Zimbabwean and Norwegian National Commissions for UNESCO). Harare, Zimbabwe.

19 to 21 September: Expert meeting to draw up training strategies for the preservation and conservation of cultural heritage (UNESCO/ICCROM). Rome, Italy.

October: International donors conference (Lithuanian Government/UNESCO). Vilnius, Lithuania.

13 to 23 October: World Heritage Session within the World Conservation Congress (CNPPA/IUCN/UNESCO). Montreal, Canada.

10 November to 13 December: Interamerican course on the conservation and management of earthen architectural and archaeological heritage (Peruvian Institute for Culture/ICCROM/Getty Conservation Institute/CRATerre/ UNESCO). Chan Chan, Peru.

29 and 30 November: 20th extraordinary session of the World Heritage Bureau. Merida, Mexico.

2 to 7 December: 20th session of the World Heritage Committee. Merida, Mexico.

The World Heritage Newsletter is published by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 7 place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, FRANCE. Fax: +33.1
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This issue was edited by Julie Hage and Peter Stott, with the editorial assistance of Sarah Titchen and Laurence Lissac.
English-French translation: Sabine de Valence.
Printed by UNESCO on recycled paper. ISSN: 1020-0614

Note: For those events marked with an asterik (*), additional information provided by the event's organisers is avalaible at the web page