SOC: Bahla Fort (Oman)
VII.29 Bahla Fort (Oman)
The Committee was informed that since its eighteenth session two expert missions had visited the site. The observations and recommendations of the first mission are set out in a Consolidated Report transmitted to the national authorities, confirming that the work being carried out was of a clearly "renovation" type, risking to irremediably compromise the authenticity of this historic monument. The second mission, carried out from 27 May to 11 June 1995, with the financial support of Oman, by a specialist in mud-brick architecture, provided valuable advice on the methods and choice of material to be used. It also noted the involvement of the national authorities in the safeguarding of the authenticity of the monument and the neighbouring buildings.
The Committee thanked the Omani authorities for their active collaboration with UNESCO towards the preservation of Bahla Fort. They particularly appreciated their willingness to follow the advice of the experts, specialists in mud-brick architecture, who were sent to the site. This action seemed to be the only way to preserve the authenticity of the monument, to which continued importance is accorded. It thanked the authorities for their financial support towards the safeguarding of this heritage and recommended that the outer mosque and the ancient residence of the Governor be also considered for restoration in accordance with the international recommendations for the preservation of authenticity.
The Committee suggested to the Omani authorities that a further mission of two experts be organized in 1996 under the same cost-sharing conditions, in order to evaluate the work and the state of conservation of the monument and to examine whether Bahla Fort may be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger in the future. The Committee requested the Secretariat to present a report on this at its twentieth session.