Work of commission of experts of World Heritage Center and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Kizhi Island VkontakteFacebook

Work of commission of experts of World Heritage Center and ICOMOS and UNESCO

During the 30-th session of the Committee on the Cultural Heritage, which took place in Vilnius in 2006, was raised the question of condition of the Kizhi Pogost Monuments. Some experts from World Heritage Center and ICOMOS, although they had not been informed about the real condition of the monuments and specifically of the Church of the Transfiguration, suggested assigning the Church a category ‘Monument in danger’.

It was then that the decision to assign the commission of experts to determine a present condition of the monument of Kizhi Pogost was made. This commission headed by Ms Anna Sidorenko-Dulem arrived in Kizhi Island 12 th of april 2007 for three days.

During their work on Kizhi Island the experts made a close study of the concept and plan of the complex restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration. They evaluated the condition of timber and structural features and discussed issues of preparation and implementation of the restoration with the museum officials and designers of the complex restoration. The commission of experts devoted much of their attention to material and technical basis for the restoration. They rated high the restoration complex built on Kizhi Island, and also the activities of the Carpenters’ Center that works as part of the Office of restoration of the Kizhi monuments. The experts liked the quality and storage conditions of timber for the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration.

During the detailed inspection of the Church inside, the experts marked a complex fire protection system that includes up-to-date means of monitoring, alarming and fire fighting.

The experts devoted special attention to the analysis of the log walls reassembly method which implements a system of lifting, fixing and supporting tiers of the Church walls to be restored. Also they studied technical documents and decisions and the condition of the lifting equipment that has been mounted. During this working session experts heard detailed explanations given by authors of the project; they got exhaustive replies to all of the questions that arose, and finally recognized selected reassembly methods as correct, the equipment mounted for this purpose efficient and applicable for objectives and goals of the restoration.

Commission of experts of World Heritage Center and ICOMOS, UNESCO, approved the work carried out by the Kizhi Museum and the planned implementation of the complex restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration. During the 31 st session of World Heritage Center UNESCO, which took place in New Zealand in June, 2007, conclusions and suggestions made by the commission of experts were approved, and recommendations for future restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration were given; they once again confirmed correctness of the chosen concept of the restoration and means of successful implementation.

Thus, the question of assigning the Church of the Transfiguration a category ‘Monument in danger’ was removed from the agenda. The Government of the Russian Federation is recommended to liven up the work on the restoration, for the assigned task is hard to fulfill just by a team of enthusiasts. This requires needs active efforts at the governmental and public levels.

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