1.         Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan) (C 958)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2000

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

a) Administrative structure and related programmes within the Cabinet of Ministers defined and supported with adequate resources and fully operational;

b) Completion of an inventory of all monuments, buildings and their infrastructures indicating their physical condition as well as expected rehabilitation methodologies;

c) Completion of a comprehensive management plan to address conservation issues, urban development control and tourism management.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

1 February 2008

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/958/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 15,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/958/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: 2005/06: USD 30,000, (American Funds Special Account).

Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO mission (CLT/CH) to Azerbaijan, 23 February-1 March 2002; UNESCO-ICOMOS mission, 18-22 October 2002; UNESCO mission (Assistant Director-General for Culture), 21-25 January 2003; UNESCO mission, 22-23 April 2003; ICCROM mission, 10-14 November 2003; UNESCO mission to participate in the Round Table, 6-8 October 2004; UNESCO mission, 3-8 September 2005 (with the University of Minnesota, USA).

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Changing urban fabric due to the demolition of buildings and uncontrolled construction within the Walled City;

b) Overall lack of any management system and in particular insufficient coordination between the national and municipal authorities,

c) Absence of a comprehensive management plan that addresses conservation problems, urban development control and tourism activities.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/958/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

A mission was carried out by UNESCO jointly with the University of Minnesota (USA), 3-8 September 2005, to evaluate the state of conservation of the site and conditions necessary to remove the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The conclusions of the mission reinforced the need to follow through on the recommendations previously given in the 2003 and 2004 missions, and stressed the need to make changes to the management structure for the site. A contract has been established between UNESCO, the University of Minnesota and in cooperation with the University of Architecture and Construction of Baku, which aims at the elaboration of the inventory of the built heritage of the World Heritage property.

The World Heritage Centre received a state of conservation report by the State Party on 31 January 2006. This report noted that, as previously brought to the attention of the Committee, the responsibility for the reserve “Icheri Sheher” from the joint custody of the Ministry of Culture and the Baku City Executive Power was transferred to the Cabinet of Ministers, and subsequent decrees which interpret and aid implementation of that decision were issued. The report also noted that “unfortunately, the newly designated department had not taken up its duties” and that management responsibility for the property is still retained by the former administration.

The report does not include the inventory data of all monuments, buildings and their infrastructures indicating the physical conditions as well as the rehabilitation methodologies, nor does it include a comprehensive management plan and an action plan update. These requirements were requested by the Committee in Decision 29 COM 7A.28 (Durban, 2005).

The report’s conclusion notes that a number of measures will need to be implemented in order to remove the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Most of them are very general and are simply a reiteration of long repeated statements about necessary planning goals to address the conservation of the Icheri Sheher.

Taking into account the failure of the Cabinet of Ministers to take up its responsibilities, and the lack of positive action on the many points raised by the Committee during its last two sessions, it is clear that the threats to the outstanding universal value of the property are still in place. While the frankness of the progress report provided by the State Party is appreciated, UNESCO and ICOMOS are deeply concerned that in spite of the involvement of many working level professionals for many years in addressing urban conservation issues in the Walled City, that sufficient political commitment to the administrative changes necessary to ensure the long term conservation of the property is still lacking. Every effort should be made to locate international assistance which could assist the State Party to move forward, possibly making use of the longstanding World Bank involvement with conservation projects in the historic centre. 

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


Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7A.29

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7A.28, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Encourages the State Party to continue to work in close collaboration with the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies, other stakeholders and the university networking for documentation through the UNESCO-Forum/Universities and Heritage, particularly in implementing activities outlined in the action plan;

4. Notes with great concern that little progress has been made towards implementing the recommendations of the Committee in 2005, and that in particular one critical decision reported during the 29th session (the transfer of management responsibility of the property to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan) has not yet been implemented;

5. Regrets that no progress has been made with the elaboration of a comprehensive management plan to address conservation issues, urban development control and tourism management at the property;

6. Recommends the State Party to conduct comparative studies in terms of sustainable management of historic towns, and taking into account the Vienna Memorandum on "World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture, Managing the Historic Urban Landscape" (2005), with concerned Scientific Committees of the Advisory Bodies;

7. Urges the State Party to fully implement all previous decisions made by the Committee at its 28th and 29th sessions;

8. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property to assess the actions taken by the State Party in the follow-up of previous Committee decisions and to elaborate an updated Action Plan in collaboration with the State Party;

9. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with an updated report by 1 February 2007, on the state of conservation of the property, including all actions taken to implement the corrective measures, for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.

10. Decides to retain the Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-06/30.COM/7A and WHC-06/30.COM/7A.Add.Rev),

2. Maintains the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

   • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 30 COM 7A.22)

   • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, (Decision 30 COM 7A.23)

   • Azerbaijan, Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Decision 30 COM 7A.29

   • Benin, Royal Palaces of Abomey (Decision 30 COM 7A.16)

   • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.1)

   • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 30 COM 7A.31)

   • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.2)

   • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.3)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.8)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.6)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Virunga National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.7)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Garamba National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.4)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Salonga National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.5)

   • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 30 COM 7A.19)

   • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.9)

   • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.15)

   • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 30 COM 7A.13)

   • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 30 COM 7A.25)

   • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 30 COM 7A.20)

   • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 30 COM 7A.34)

   • Nepal, Kathmandu Valley (Decision 30 COM 7A.26)

   • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 30 COM 7A.10)

   • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 30 COM 7A.27)

   • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 30 COM 7A.32)

   • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 30 COM 7A.28)

   • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 28 COM 7A.17)

   • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.14)

   • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 30 COM 7A.33)

   • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 30 COM 7A.21)