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   2003-2009

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

N/A

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.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Changing urban fabric due to the demolition of buildings and uncontrolled construction within the Walled City; lack of any management system and insufficient coordination between the national and municipal authorities; Absence of a comprehensive management plan that addresses conservation problems, 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 2005

From 6 to 8 October 2004, the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan organised a Round Table in Baku on safeguarding the World Heritage property, attended by the national and municipal authorities, scientific institutions in Azerbaijan, site managers, NGOs, World Bank Azerbaijan and the World Heritage Centre.  The stakeholders noted that demolition and inappropriate urban development continues, despite a presidential decree in 2003 to halt uncontrolled development within the property. 

The Round Table recognised the urgent need to establish a safeguarding strategy for the property and agreed that this should include the development of a comprehensive management plan which addresses safeguarding measures, conservation issues, development control a tourism management as well as archaeological research, community involvement and promotion of the property.  In addition, the Round Table recognised that future conservation activities should be based on the inventory of all monuments, buildings and their infrastructures indicating the physical conditions as well as the methodologies of renewal within the World Heritage property, and therefore requested the relevant institutions to compile existing information and establish a comprehensive inventory.  The State Party identified the World Bank as a possible donor with regard to the preparation of a management plan.  Furthermore, the Round Table further endorsed the Action Plan for safeguarding the World Heritage property which has been revised to take into account the recommendations of the Round Table. 

By a letter of 15 February 2005, the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre that the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan is now managing the state historical-architectural reserve "Isherisheher", thus replacing the Baku City Executive Power and the Ministry of Culture. 

In February 2005, the Azerbaijan Republic Scientific Research and Project Institute for Restoration of Monuments "Azerbarpa" completed a project to update or prepare detailed plans and maps of the Icheri Sheher - Walled City of Baku, which received financial assistance from the World Heritage Fund.  The Advisory Bodies are currently evaluating the results of this project. 

At the time of the preparation of this document, the State Party had not submitted the state of conservation report as requested by Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004). 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7A.28

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15A.29, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Takes note of the outcome of the Round Table and the change of the body responsible for the administration and management of the World Heritage property;

4. Encourages the State Party of Azerbaijan to foster coordination amongst all stakeholders and notably between the national and municipal authorities;

5. Regrets that the State Party did not provide a state of conservation report by 1 February 2005 as requested;

6. Requests the State Party to compile existing information and establish an inventory of all monuments, buildings and their infrastructures indicating the physical conditions as well as the rehabilitation methodologies within the property;

7. Strongly urges the State Party to elaborate a comprehensive management plan to address conservation issues, development control and tourism management in order to ensure the future preservation of the property;

8. Further encourages the State Party to continue to work in close collaboration with the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and other stakeholders, in particular for the purpose of implementing the activities outlined in the action plan;

9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2006, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

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: 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: