1.         Tyre (Lebanon) (C 299)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1984

Criteria  (iii)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 35,667
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 19,173 from 1997 to 2001 for the International Safeguarding Campagne.

Previous monitoring missions

2004 : Evaluation mission by the UNESCO Beirut Office ; September 2006 : UNESCO mission following the 2006 summer conflict (the World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission was postponed until further notice due to this situation).

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/299/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

In September 2006, the Director-General of UNESCO sent an expert mission to Lebanon to examine the state of conservation of the World Heritage sites that might have suffered from Israeli bombing during the recent conflict in July-August 2006.

The mission visited in turn Baalbek, Anjar, Tyr and Byblos and ascertained that these sites had not suffered major damage from direct bombardment, with the exception of the oil slick affecting a major part of the Lebanese littoral north of Jiyyeh, and in particular polluting the archaeological vestiges bordering the seashore at Byblos (a financial contribution from the Japanese Government was allocated to clean up the damaged structures).

At the two main preserved and enclosed archaeological sites of Tyr, the mission noted that no direct damage had been recorded for the shoreside. However, at the El Bass site (Necropolis and Hippodrome), the bombardment of a building approximately 150 m from the site had caused damage to a part of the frescoes of a Roman funerary cave. The mission also examined certain structures that required consolidation work, such as the columns and palestra of the shoreside, as well as the Roman road of the El Bass site. The mission also inspected the future south Lenanon motorway route, and recommended that the geophysical prospections already undertaken by the General Direction of Antiquities be continued and that preventive excavations be carried out before the establishment of the final route, foreseen in five years’ time.

The priority measures recommended by the mission, for all the Lebanese sites, are the following :

a) The establishment of a risk map identifying all the conditions likely to cause alarming stuctural disorders;

b) Consolidation activities for the most threatened stuctures;

On 23 March 2007, the World Heritage Centre received a letter transmitting an updated report of 2006 on the state of conservation of Tyr and the actions requested by the Committee in its Decision30 COM 7B.52, which were delayed due to the conflict situation. Amongst which were:

c) The decree for the protection of the marine zone of the site is still in abeyance with the Ministry of Transport;

d) The request for an extension of the three-year moratory concerning constructions in the potential archaeological zones was made to the Urbansim Department, with no response to date;

e) The boundaries of the property and its buffer zone will be defined following the evaluation of the ongoing geophysical prospection work;

f) Studies undertaken regarding the conversion of the commerical port to a marina will be integrated into the final project;

g) The digital card for the establishment of the complete archaeological card for the site is being updated on a geographical information system with available geographical data. The prospection results will also be integrated;

h) Prospections have been undertaken on the proposed motorway route using classic and geophysical means, to identify the zones at risk and, if need be, to request changes in the execution of the motorway. At the time of the preparation of this report, the results of the work indicated in the document transmitted have not yet been received by the World Heritage Centre.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.62

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.52, adopted by its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Deplores the loss of human life and degradation caused by the summer conflict of 2006, while expressing its relief for the absence of damage to the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List;

4.       Takes note of the fact that due to this conflict, and to the priorities, both humanitarian and rehabilitation, the State Party was unable to concentrate its efforts on the requests expressed by the Committee in its Decision 30 COM 7B.52 ;

5.       Encourages again the State Party to extend the three-year building restriction period, which has come to term, in the sectors presenting a potential archaeological interest, and the completion of the construction of the motorway adjacent to the property until the completion of the archaeological map recordings; 

6.       Renews its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission to evaluate the progress and the impact of the projects in progress and envisaged;

7.      Also requests the State Party to provide a detailed topographical map indicating the boundaries of the property, and if possible those of the buffer zone for the protected area and to submit a progress report on its recommendations before 1 February 2008, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.