The mission was informed that efforts were being made to strengthen the capacity of national heritage organizations, professionals and their accountability, in addition to receiving an increase in their budgets, with special conservation work funding being disseminated in 2010.
The mission noted that the palace complex had seriously degenerated during the period it was used as a sanatorium, and that the restoration and rehabilitation, financed by the Republic of Belarus, was a significant improvement on the state of conservation.
The mission further noted that building repair work used traditional materials and techniques, and was organised following in-depth historical research, and a thorough analysis of condition. Stabilisation measures for foundations, walls and load-bearing systems involved necessary rehabilitation and modernisation work, and the employment of manual skilled workers ensured that the standard of conservation/restoration measures was adequate. Extensive reconstruction plans for individual rooms were based on photographs which illustrated their final-documented historic state, whilst the restoration approach for the exterior largely reflected the mid- 18th century period, when the original 16th century court façade was totally remodelled.
The mission noted that the Eastern Gallery was taken down and rebuilt for structural reasons, as described in the Information report presented by the State Party on 12 October 2009. Initial work on rebuilding internal walls and vaults opened up what were considered to be more fundamental structural problems. The Gallery apparently collapsed for the first time in 1755 and was later stabilised with metal bonds and a buttress. It was pulled down after attempts had been made to at least preserve the outer walls. After the demolition, which in principle is regrettable, the now rebuilt Eastern gallery is an unavoidable partial reconstruction of the palace complex of Nesvizh.
In reviewing the adopted rebuilding methodology, the mission noted that the Eastern Gallery reconstruction used salvaged brick material from the “dismantled” historic structure; that the Gallery was surveyed prior to “dismantling”, and was re-erected with the same floor heights and fenestration, with walls set on foundations, complying with modern standards. In assessing the type of materials and technologies being used in the conservation work, the mission noted that the internal walls and vaults were plastered, with sparingly applied stucco decoration on the courtyard elevations.
In principle, the mission noted few difficulties in agreeing with the standards and approach adopted for the rebuilding: some parts had been repaired and safeguarded; missing parts replaced; disfiguring 20th century additions removed; and an earlier state reconstituted. In the process, it noted however that there have been conservation, restoration and renovation approaches to the work where, in some circumstances, the conservation and renewal approaches intertwined.
The mission also noted that it would be appropriate to remind the personnel in charge of the property of the necessary balance between repair and renewal which needs to be part of clearly set out policies and approaches for conservation, restoration and reconstruction in the Management Plan. Furthermore, projects such as this needed to be notified to the World Heritage Centre, for review by ICOMOS, in accordance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
Evaluating the technical stability of structures, apart from the desolate condition of the small 19th-century north-east corner tower of the arsenal wing, the mission observed that the stability of most structures has been secured, and those parts threatened by unstable foundations had been thoroughly investigated.
Evaluating the status of the management plan for the property, and a review of the policy of restoration and reconstruction, requested by the World Heritage Committee at
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 134