Jerusalem’s cultural heritage – Implementation of action plans/other projects – UNESCO document

 Item 13 of the provisional agenda



This document is presented pursuant to 189 EX/Decision 8, by which the Executive Board requested a follow-up report on this item.

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 36 C/Resolution 43 and 189 EX/Decision 5 related to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem is presented in document 190 EX/5.

No decision is proposed.


 1. The funding of the Action Plan, initiated further to the request of the General Conference in 2003 and financed by the Italian Government, was completed. Among the project profiles identified in the framework of the “Inventory and Conservation Priorities Map for Historic Monuments and Sites”, only one has received funding, namely the Saint John Prodromos project.

2. The preliminary phase of the conservation project of the Saint John Prodromos Church, funded by the Leventis Foundation of Cyprus, and implemented in close collaboration with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, has been completed and a detailed restoration project has been finalized. However, the available funding is insufficient to undertake the overall restoration project, and UNESCO is seeking additional resources to this end.

3. The agreement for the third and final phase of the project for the establishment of the Centre for Restoration of Islamic Manuscripts of the Haram al-Sharif funded by Norway was signed by the Director-General and the donor in December 2011. It includes: the employment of additional staff members; further targeted training; the organization of field visits and practical internships to develop professional skills in conservation and restoration techniques and facilitate the creation of partnerships with other institutions; and the procurement of conservation materials and equipment.

4. Following the recruitment of four permanent staff members by the Jordanian authorities, 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 is progressing. The staff is being trained in conservation, photography of objects, inventory, English language and computer skills. The necessary equipment has been purchased. The artefacts are being cleaned and conserved, an electronic and photographic inventory is nearly completed, and a storage room has been set up. UNESCO will be shortly begin working on the museological and museographic components of the project.

5. At the 189th session of the Executive Board in March 2012, 189EX/Decision 8 was adopted by roll-call vote, recalling the previous decisions concerning Jerusalem, and regretting “the lack of progress in the implementation of 185 EX/Decision 14”.

6. At the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, 24 June-6 July 2012), a report was presented on the overall situation in the Old City of Jerusalem, inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Decision 36 COM 7A.23.I was adopted without debate, by which the World Heritage Committee reiterated its request that a joint UNESCO/ICCROM/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem be undertaken. It is to be recalled that, to this end, the World Heritage Centre addressed letters to the Permanent Delegation of Israel to UNESCO on 1 February, 13 April and 27 July 2011 and on 9 February 2012, requesting authorization of the mission and comments on the draft terms of reference. To date no response has been received.

7. Should there be any developments on this item, the Director-General is prepared to issue an addendum to the present document before the 190th session of the Executive Board.


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