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Illustrative material http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/217

Current conservation issues

During recent years, the World Heritage Centre has been informed on different issues concerning new developments in the Ancient City of Nessebar, including inappropriate and illegal demolition and construction, the state of conservation of the historic monuments and various interventions to the urban fabric, as well as on possible threats to this World Heritage property by inappropriate tourism development.

In Section II of the Periodic Report for Europe (Cycle 1) on the state of conservation of the Ancient City of Nessebar 2005, the State Party provided information about the threats to the World Heritage property and its buffer zone, as well as on the measures to be undertaken to address these challenges.

On 4 January 2006, the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre that a joint committee composed of the responsible directors from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works had been set up in December 2005. This committee decided to start the elaboration of a Management Plan, as well as to update existing regulations, including the Development Plan.

On 28 January 2007, the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre that a number of constructions were executed without approval by the National Institute for Cultural Monuments (NICM), a consultative body within the Ministry of Culture. Deviations occurred in the architectural elements, details and materials used, as well as in the dimensional parameters of the buildings. The NICM established several commissions for the prevention and abolition of the illegal constructions.

Furthermore, at its 32nd session, the World Heritage Committee took note of the clarifications of boundaries and size of the Ancient City of Nessebar provided by the State Party in response to the Retrospective Inventory (Decision 32 COM 8D).

Following numerous meetings with the Bulgarian national and local authorities, the World Heritage Centre requested the State Party on 27 June 2009 to provide a detailed report on the state of conservation of this property, including the following documents:

  • the Management Plan of the property, including the tourism development programme;

  • the Master Plan of the city, including the regulations for the construction and restoration works;

  • the description of the adopted restrictive measures concerning movable equipment (tourist shops) within the property;

  • all relevant legal documents concerning the property and its land use.

On 7 April 2010, the State Party submitted a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property. The following issues have been addressed in the State Party’s report:

  • a)

    State of conservation

    • -

      Archaeological sites: The State Party submitted a report on 18 archaeological sites and remains in Appendix 8. Even though some conservation and restoration works have been carried out in past years, the State Party underlined several threats due to the bad condition of the remains, a risk of destruction of some sections of the wall, and inappropriate use (e.g. fast-food restaurants are placed on the ruins of Hellenistic houses). Emergency measures should be taken to protect archaeological sites, and an overall project to reinforce, protect, restore and present archaeological sites to the public should be prepared and implemented.

State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List

WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 141

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