1.         Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan) (C 208rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2003

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)

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

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/208/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 30,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/208/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

Regular UNESCO missions are sent in the framework of a large extra-budgetary project.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Consolidation of the cliffs and niches; absence of a site management plan; lack of a long-term on-site monitoring system; demining.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/208/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The World Heritage Centre received a progress report from the State Party on 5 March 2005.

In line with the recommendations of the Second UNESCO/ICOMOS Expert Working Group on the Preservation of Bamiyan held in Munich in December 2003, major extra-budgetary activities have been implemented by UNESCO in cooperation with the donors for the conservation of this World Heritage property.

A bilateral financial contribution of approximately one million euros was granted from 2002 to 2004 by the Government of Germany, through ICOMOS Germany for the safeguarding of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage, notably for the preservation of the fragments of the statues of the Buddha in Bamiyan and of traditional buildings in the Bamiyan Valley. The conservation of the fragments of the Great Bhuddas has been initiated, and ICOMOS wishes to complete the work during 2005.

The amount of US$ 1,815,967 was granted in 2002 by the Government of Japan for the safeguarding of the property. Thanks to this contribution, the first phase of the emergency consolidation of the cliffs and niches has been finalized and the preservation of mural paintings has started. A Third Expert Working Group Meeting for Bamiyan, organized by UNESCO and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (NRICP) of Japan took place in Tokyo in December 2004. For the first time, experts were able to use Carbon14 dating technology to ascertain the age of the two Buddha statues, as well as of the mural paintings: the Small Buddha was shown to date from 507 AD, the Great Buddha dates from 551 AD and the mural paintings were dated between the late 5th and early 9th century AD. The experts agreed on the need to pursue the activities undertaken during the first phase of the project, which focused on emergency measures, and emphasized that longer-term measures are urgently required for the second phase to ensure the continued preservation of the property.

A Preliminary Master Plan for the property, which identifies cultural zones and buffer zones upon archaeological investigations, has been submitted by NRICP of Japan to the State Party and to UNESCO in July 2004. This Preliminary Master Plan, with its proposed guidelines, would become the basis for the site-management planning of the property.

A project for the construction of a Cultural Heritage Training Centre, initiated by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan, through its grant of US$ 446,381 in 2003 and a complementary contribution of US$ 90,000 through three years’ earmarked funds to the World Heritage Fund, is being implemented with UNESCO’s support foreseeing its inauguration in June 2005. This Training Centre foresees to employ the local population and to bring in expertise for heritage conservation and to organize capacity-building activities for the national and regional experts.

The State Party, moreover, has purchased land and started the construction of the surrounding walls of a museum of Bamiyan, which would eventually cover an area of 11,000 square metres. In the meantime, archaeological investigations have also been carried out by the University of Strasbourg, in cooperation with the French Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan (DAFA).

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7A.21

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7A,

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15A.22, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Commends the State Party of Afghanistan for its dedication towards the safeguarding of the property;

4. Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to review the preliminary comprehensive management plan prepared by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (NRICP) of Japan and to assist the State Party in finalizing this comprehensive management plan based on the Statement of outstanding universal value of the property and in line with the principles set out in the Operational Guidelines (2005);

5. Invites the international community to support the State Party in its efforts towards removing the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

6. Invites the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with detailed technical information on the large-scale local museum under construction within the property and clarify its relation to the Cultural Heritage Training Centre in Bamiyan;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2006, a progress report on the state of conservation of this property, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

8. Decides to retain the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-05/29.COM/7A and WHC-05/29.COM/7A.Add),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: