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Sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel de Jérusalem – Rapport de l’UNESCO Français

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Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
26 October 2010

Item 14 of the provisional agenda



This document is presented pursuant 184 EX/Decision 12, by which the Executive Board postponed the examination of the item related to Jerusalem and the implementation of 35 C/Resolution 49 and 182 EX/Decision 15 to its 185th session.

The document reports on the implementation of the Action Plan, as well as on other projects for the Old City of Jerusalem, all of which are mainly financed through voluntary extrabudgetary contributions.

The Report by the Director-General on the implementation of 35 C/Resolution 49 and 184 EX/Decision 5 (IV) related to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem is presented in document 185 EX/5.

I. Action Plan for the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem

1. The first phase of the Action Plan funded by the Italian Government is now completed. UNESCO is exploring the possibility to use some remaining funds for a recently identified conservation/training project – the Rehabilitation of Al Saha Compound Facades – to be carried out with the Technical Unit of the Franciscan Custodia of the Holy Land. The training component, fundamental to improving the skills in conservation of the local workers, would be included in the project by testing the Rehabilitation Manual produced in the framework of the Action Plan.

2. The conservation project of Saint John Prodromos Church, funded by the Leventis Foundation from Cyprus, actually started in July 2009, with the architectural survey carried out by the chosen experts. It has been agreed with the experts and the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate that an additional phase of focused archaeological researches and humidity measures are necessary to complete the preparation of the detailed restoration project in the next six months.

II. Other projects

3. The project for the development of an Architectural Heritage Preservation Institute in Jerusalem, funded by the European Commission, and implemented in partnership with the Welfare Association, is entering its final phase. The Welfare Association has notably organized two additional short intensive training workshops and a long core course on the basis of the curriculum developed by ICCROM, prepared the publication of two books and training manuals, established a project database, technical library and a website. It also carried out awareness-raising sessions. A third Steering Committee meeting took place at UNESCO in May 2010 to review the progress and agree upon the activities to be implemented during the final phase of the project.

4. As a follow-up to the project for the establishment of a Centre for Restoration of Islamic Manuscripts, located in the Madrasa Al Ashrayfiyyah within the Haram al-Sharif, a capacity-building project has been developed, with funding from the Organization’s regular programme (US $190,000) in order to provide training to new and existing staff in the fields of paper restoration and electronic inventorying so as to ensure the long-term conservation of its invaluable collection of manuscripts and other historic documents in an advanced state of deterioration. In this respect, tailor-made training programmes are organized at the Centre during which international experts focus on paper restoration and conservation, documentation, and on the reinforcement of managerial and organizational practices. Training sessions are also organized in restoration laboratories abroad so as to establish professional support networks with recognized conservation institutions. The Centre's permanent restorer attended a training session at the Paper Restoration Laboratory, Zoopigi, Cyprus, in November 2009. The first beginners training session took place in Jerusalem in February-March 2010 and in April 2010 the Jordanian Ministry of Waqf and Islamic Affairs informed UNESCO that it allocated US $90,000 for the salaries of five new staff, including four trainees, to be funded for 18 months. This was followed by a second beginners training session in June 2010. A third session is foreseen for September 2010.

5. The development of the project for the Safeguarding, Refurbishment and Revitalization of the Islamic Museum of the Haram al-Sharif and its Collection, funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ($1,130,000), which started in 2009, is progressing and four permanent staff members have been recruited for the museum by the Jordanian authorities. The staff are to be installed in the Museum as soon as possible, having received their security and working clearance from Jordan in June 2010. In addition, UNESCO engaged in June 2010 a local coordinator to assist with the implementation and coordination of the staff training programme and assist with logistical aspects of the project. Expert consultants have been contracted to assess the inventory needs of the collections, including data management. In addition, museologists and exhibition planners have been briefed on the needs of the museum and are to be engaged in the coming months.

6. At its 184th session of the Executive Board, a draft decision (184 EX/PX/DR.2) was submitted by Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tunisia, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Viet Nam. After considerable effort to reach a consensus, 184 EX/Decision 12 was adopted, to which the original draft decision was attached, by which the examination of this agenda item was postponed to the Executive Board at its 185th session.

7. At its 34th session (25 July-3 August 2010, Brasilia, Brazil), the World Heritage Committee adopted Decision 34 COM 7A.20 by which it encouraged the Director-General to take the necessary measures, in consultation and cooperation with the concerned parties, to reactivate and reinvigorate the implementation of the short-, medium- and long-term objectives of the Action Plan, including training, education and cultural activities, and the preservation of sites and monuments of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls as inscribed on the World Heritage List.

8. It also requested a joint World Heritage Centre/ICCROM/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission to the property as referred to in the Operational Guidelines to assess and advise on progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan and, in cooperation and consultation with the concerned parties, identify appropriate operational and financial mechanisms and modalities to strengthen technical cooperation with all concerned parties in the framework of the Action Plan.

9. Preparations are under way for the dispatch of the first such mission.

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