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site, and further notes that the federal authority Rossokhrankultura has taken a strong position against construction of the tower. The mission recommends that the State Party renounces definitively the planned tower, and suggests that future construction on the territory conform to the requirements of Rossokhrankultura and the accompanying federal legislation, the archaeological value of the site and the need to conserve these attributes in situ.

On 14 April 2010, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation requested UNESCO to provide information on the potential threat of the construction of the “Okhta” tower on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and on the consequences of such a threat if realized. On 10 May 2010, the World Heritage Centre provided to the State Party detailed information in response on this request, underlining that the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session expressed again its grave concern that the proposed "Okhta” tower could impact adversely on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and requested the State Party to suspend work on this project and submit modified designs, in accordance with federal legislation and accompanied by an independent environmental impact assessment. The World Heritage Centre’s response also noted the conclusions of the recent joint mission which highlighted the potential negative impact of the existing project on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. On 1 June 2010, the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre that the President of the Russian Federation had considered and approved proposals of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia for the property. The State Party reported that the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation had especially noted the decision of the World Heritage Committee which requested that work on the construction of the Okhta Centre Tower be suspended and that new designs reducing the building's height be considered.

The authorities underlined the importance of complying with the recommendations of the Committee in this regard in order to maintain a constructive dialogue. The State Party stressed that relevant guidelines were being sent to the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Administration of Saint-Petersburg and other organisations concerned. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that the State Party has made significant progress in implementing the World Heritage Committee’s decision to abandon the current proposals for the 400 metre “Okhta Centre” Tower which would have adversely affected the historic cityscape of St Petersburg and threatened the outstanding universal value of the property. They consider that the City needs to explore other architectural solutions that will not adversely impact on the skyline of the city or its outstanding universal value, will be in line with the height limit of 40 metres for that area of the city, and will respect the archaeology layers. Furthermore any new project needs to be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment that considers the impact on outstanding universal value at the earliest possible stage.

In order to clarify the boundary of the property and its buffer zones, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies support the suggestion of the Mission to hold an expert forum to explore the two main options.

Draft Decision:

34 COM 7B.95

The World Heritage Committee,

  • 1.

    Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add,

  • 2.

    Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.118, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

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

WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 168

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