The World Heritage Committee has welcomed the success of the authorities of Azerbaijan in preserving the Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshahs' Palace and Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan), and decided to remove the property from UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger.

The site, which sustained damage during the earthquake of November 2000, was inscribed on the Danger List in 2003. The site was then also seen as being negatively affected by the pressure of urban development, the absence of conservation policies and by dubious restoration efforts. Improvements in its management have since allowed for the site to secure the outstanding universal value for which it was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2000.

Built on a site inhabited since the Palaeolithic period, the Walled City of Baku reveals evidence of Zoroastrian, Sasanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman, and Russian presence in cultural continuity. The Inner City (Icheri Sheher) has preserved much of its 12th-century defensive walls. The 12th-century Maiden Tower (Giz Galasy) is built over earlier structures dating from the 7th to 6th centuries BC, and the 15th-century Shirvanshahs' Palace is one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture.

The 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee, chaired by María Jesús San Segundo, the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO, is meeting in Seville until 30 June. The Committee´s 21 members are reviewing the state of conservation of properties inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List and nominations for new inscriptions of cultural and natural sites on the List.


Roni Amelan,
In Seville until 30 June: +33 (0) 61 54 30 212

Lucía Iglesias Kuntz (Spanish):
In Seville until 30 June: +33(0)61 46 95 498

Gina Doubleday (Paris)
+33 (0)1 45 68 16 60