Management of the properties

From a modern point of view, the management of the cultural heritage is a team project with a number of participants-partners sharing their responsibility for the conservation of the properties. When the property is a living historic town special role play the public authorities (central and local), the population and business.

The role of the public authorities is a result of their responsibility for the preservation of the outstanding universal value of the property, as the state is a guarantee for that at world level. On the other hand, they are interested in the conservation and use of the heritage because of its special significance for the national and local identity, as well as because of the special image and economic benefits it carries. For achieving these objectives it is necessary to have active interaction between the central and local public authorities, a contribution to which have the de-concentration and de-centralisation of management.

The role of the local population for the conservation and sustainable use of the property, especially when it is a living historic town, is confirmed by the entire international practice. The ICOMOS Charter for the Conservation of Historic Towns and Urban Areas states that ‘The participation and the involvement of the residents are essential for the success of the conservation programme and should be encouraged. The conservation of historic towns and urban areas concerns their residents first of all.’ Really effective proves out to be that system of management which is able to set the person-owner and proprietor in the centre of the process of conservation. Experience shows that this proves to be possible when the population is given public support, to compensate part of the burdens of the inevitable restrictions and prohibits, related to the conservation of the property (for instance through tax concessions, subsidies, privileges, aids for specialised conservation activities, public-private partnership, etc.). Usually, this support is shared among the central and local authorities that estimate strategically the global image and economic benefits of the property.

The role of business is provided through the mechanisms of public-private partnership and with the consciousness for the long-term economic benefits from the heritage in case its values, authenticity and integrity are preserved. For this purpose the business must adapt its activities to the outstanding universal value of the property, to take full advantage of the local traditions, specific industries, cuisine, handicrafts, etc.

The international experience shows that in order to engage all participants in the management is especially important to achieve balance between stimuli and restrictions for conservation, which should make the statute “World Heritage” attractive for all and thus motivate the partners. For the good functioning of similar management systems of great importance are the various legislative instruments and the flexible financial policy.

What follows from the above is that the conservation, use and management of the property is not only a problem of the local municipal policy, but it should be considered as national cause and state priority. This requires clear national and local strategy, in accordance with the best international practices. First step to the formation of such strategy is to determine the actual state of the parameters of the outstanding universal value of the property. Are there existing changes in authenticity and integrity of “The Ancient City of Nessebar” threatening its outstanding universal value? What is the role of actual policy for conservation, use and management for the present state of the property? The MP gives the answer to the above questions.