State of Conservation (SOC)
Abu Mena (1992)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:0USD
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
The Bureau noted with concern the dangers threatening the conservation of the site because of its fragility and the increasing flow of pilgrims, as well as a possible reconstruction of the church over the Saint's tomb.
The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to draw the attention of the competent national authorities to these matters and request their assurances to take all action necessary for conserving this site.
The recommendations of the Bureau were transmitted to the Egyptian authorities by a letter dated 9 September 1992 and a reply is awaited.
Link to the decision
Abou Mena (Egypt)
The Committee was apprised of the report presented on the site of Abou Mena following concerns expressed by the Bureau in July 1992. At the request of the Chairperson, the Delegate from Egypt provided all the clarifications regarding allegations on the state of the site in his report, which the Chairperson, upon the suggestion of one of the delegates, requested the Committee to include in the report as an appendix. During the discussion which followed, the Tunisian Delegate asked the Centre to pay special attention to confirming the information received by the Secretariat before bringing it to the attention of the Committee.
No draft Decision
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SOC Reports2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2001 1992
Detailed List of SOC reports
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 2001
Threats to the Site:
A land-reclamation programme for the agricultural development of the region, funded by the World Bank, has caused in the past ten years a dramatic raise of the water table. The local soil, which is exclusively clay, is hard and capable of supporting buildings when in a dry state, but becomes semi-liquid with excess water. The destruction of numerous cisterns, disseminated around the city, has entailed the collapse of several overlying structures. Huge underground cavities have opened in the north-western region of the town. The risk of collapse is so high that the authorities were forced to fill with sand the bases of some of the most endangered buildings, including the crypt of Abu Mena with the tomb of the Saint, and close them to the public. A large banked road, moreover, was executed to enable movement within the site.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities is trying to counteract this phenomenon by digging trenches, and has enlarged the listed area in the hope of lowering the pressure of the irrigation. These measures, however, have proved to be insufficient, taking into account the scale of the problem and the limited resources available.
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).