What was the press conference about?
After the events of 2016, when an attempt was made to build a motorway across the monument, and the latter was seriously damaged, our organization continued to monitor its condition. The results of this monitoring were presented to journalists.
During this time, we visited the site of ancient settlement 11 times, took hundreds of photos. A video film “Talgar site— A Theater of Absurd” was produced, and a report “2017 Results of Monitoring of the World Heritage Site— the Talgar site of ancient settlement” was prepared (see Russian and English version).
Based on the collected photo-materials, the organization filed a request to the Ministry of Culture and Sports, trying to draw attention of the authorized body to the deplorable condition of the monument. However, their response was inapplicable and did not answer the question.
After that, we addressed the Secretary of the Committee on Ecology and Nature Management of the Mazhilis of the Parliament—Galina Alexandrovna Baimakhanova. Deputies of the “People’s Communists” faction sent two deputy requests to the Prime Minister B.A. Sagintayev. Both answers contain inaccurate information that does not reflect the actual situation at the World Heritage site.
Despite the clear guidelines of the World Heritage Committee made in 2016 and 2017, Talgar site does not even remotely resemble a site of UNESCO’s prestigious list.
The site was never fully fenced— the south and west borders remain unfenced. A mesh fence, hastily installed on the east side in 2016 before the arrival of the international commission, is now broken in many places. This allows livestock entering the site for grazing all year round. In addition, local bikers started using the monument for their extreme entertainment.
It is impossible to recognize this as a World Heritage site, because information boards are empty. The overall depressing view of the site is complemented by the recent reconstructions— the corner tower and the gates, which are falling apart, literally, before our eyes.
We submitted the information about what was happening with the monument in the last year and a half and how the Talgar site looks like in the present time to the World Heritage Center. The Center’s response states that the materials will be reviewed at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (June 24— July 4, Manama, Bahrain).
Unfortunately, the situation on other sites of the Silk Road in Kazakhstan leaves much to be desired. The Ecological Society “Green Salvation” will continue to monitor the World Heritage Site and make efforts to preserve it.