The Office of the Director-General, UNESCO would like to regrettably note the inaccurate representation of the remarks made by the Director-General in the reporting by some media outlets following a press conference with UNESCO’s Director-General in Colombo on 17 August.
With regard to the media reporting on the state of conservation of Dambulla Temple, the Office of the Director-General reiterates that the organisation is engaged in a process of dialogue with national authorities on this matter, and that no reference was ever made to its delisting as a World Heritage Site.
In the press conference, the Director-General made reference to a Reactive Monitoring Mission dispatched by ICOMOS, our Advisory Body for cultural properties, in March 2015 to assess this question. As a result, a number of recommendations were put forth in order to improve the conservation and management of the site.
During the press conference, the Director-General had emphasised that UNESCO is committed to working through dialogue with the government to implement these recommendations. The organisation stands ready to support the Government through capacity building and technical support as recommended by the Mission.