Istanbul, Turkey, 13 July — The World Heritage Committee has decided to add Uzbekistan’s Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz to the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the over-development of tourist infrastructure in the site.
The Committee expressed concern over the destruction of buildings in the centre of the World Heritage site’s Medieval neighbourhoods and the construction of modern facilities including hotels and other buildings which have affected irreversible changes to the appearance of historic Shakhrisyabz. The Committee has requested that UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) send a joint mission to assess the extent of damage and propose appropriate corrective measures.
The Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz, located on the Silk Road in southern Uzbekistan, is over 2,000 years old and was the cultural and political centre of the Kesh region in the 14th and 15th century. The Historic Centre of Shakhrisabz bears witness to the city’s secular development and to centuries of its history, particularly to the period of its apogee, under the rule of Amir Temur and the Temurids, from the 15th-16th century.
The List of World Heritage in Danger is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which properties were inscribed on the World Heritage List and rally the support of the international community for their protection.
The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee began on 10 July and will continue until 20 July. It is chaired by Ambassador, Director General of Cultural Affairs and Promotion Abroad of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lale Ülker.