Region: UNESCO World Heritage Abbey of St Gall, Switzerland

Protect the important view to the UNESCO World Heritage Abbey of St. Gall, Switzerland!

Petitioner not public
Petition is directed to
UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France
829 Supporters
The petition is denied.
  1. Launched 2018
  2. Collection finished
  3. Filed on 20 Oct 2018
  4. Dialogue
  5. Finished

The petition is being checked by the recipient.

at 29 Nov 2019 16:18

Hanspeter Egloff and Anita Lötscher Egloff
Felsenstr 18
9000 St. Gallen

Madame Mechtild Rössler
Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre
7, place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP

November 28th, 2019

Your answer to our petition "Protect the important view to the UNESCO World Heritage Abbey of St. Gall, Switzerland!2 (

Dear Mrs Rössler

One year ago, on October 18, 2018, we sent you our petition "Protect the important view to the UNESCO World Heritage Abbey of St. Gall, Switzerland!" with 829 signatures.!gallus

On November 9, 2018, Mr. Nicolas Mathieu, Secretary General of the Swiss
UNESCO Commission, Bundesgasse 28, 3003 Bern, assures that the petition will be examined in detail and dealt with independently. He also said that we will receive a complete reply from you. We have also invited you to visit us here.

Together with the 827 co-signatories, we are convinced that both the urban and cantonal preservation authorities, and in particular the World Heritage Site Association (Verein Weltkulturerbe Stiftsbezirk), do not protect this view in accordance with the guidelines (Article 104). The question of the view has never been examined independently and in the light of pending legal issues:
See Annual Report of the Association 2017 p. 24 ID-104: "2017-2018 Development of an urban protection ordinance incl. definition of spatially limited zones for the protection of visual axes and visual areas" (1)
And Annual Report 2018 S.27 ID-104 " ... Determination of spatially limited zones for the protection of the visual axes and visual areas in the Old Town ... The draft of the ordinance is to be presented in August 2019. (2)
The UNESCO World Heritage Action Plan Switzerland 2016 - 2013 of the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) also states on p.7/8 under Measures for the Abbey District of St. Gallen: "2019: A buffer zone is to be established to determine which external and internal visual references are to be kept free of impairments and which take account of far-reaching visual axes". (3)

In our opinion, the problem lies with the multifunctionality of the monument conservator Mr Niklaus Ledergerber. In the present case, he is at the same time an advisor to the building owners and to the municipal building permit commission. In addition, he is jointly responsible for the pending issues in the Heritage Section of the World Cultural Heritage Association of the Abbey District of St. Gallen and is also President of ICOMOS Switzerland (4), the organisation that advises UNESCO "independently" on the preservation of monuments. He has never revealed to us his bias in this matter.

We very much regret that we did not receive a direct response from you. Mrs Claudia Friedl, National Councillor, has received from the Swiss UNESCO Commission the ICOMOS Note of October 2019 and her accompanying letter to the Swiss Ambassador in Paris of 17 October 2019. Mrs Friedl forwarded it to us.
We are very disappointed about the negative decision. For us, your answer is neither complete nor independent. Only the preconceived opinion of Mr. Ledergerber was taken into account. In our opinion, the questions of the visual axis and the buffer zone as well as the ongoing legal pending issues have not been included accordingly. We believe that the ICOMOS comments date from before 1983, when the monastery district was declared a World Heritage Site. Since then, this view should be protected: Because it meets horizontally and at right angles from Berneggstrasse exactly in the middle of the roof of the cathedral or the Gallus relief and at the same time opens up the whole spectrum of the monastery district and the old town, and because it is open to the public. For us, it is authoritative, unique and extraordinary. The proposed project will completely destroy this view. This is not "negligible" for us and we cannot understand it.

We were prepared to accept a well-founded negative decision from their independent experts here and send it to the co-signatories. But in this way we cannot understand it and have great difficulty with it.

Yours sincerely

Hanspeter Egloff and Anita Lötscher Egloff


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