1.         Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Iran (Islamic Republic of)) (C 1208bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   2004-2013

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

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1288

Corrective measures identified

Adopted see pagehttp://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1288

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1208/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2004-2004)
Total amount approved: USD 50,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1208/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 568,000 (2004-2007) from the UNESCO Japan Funds-in-Trust; USD 136, 985 (2005-2010) from the UNESCO Italy Funds-in-Trust; USD 20,000 (2004) from the World Bank Italian Trust Funds’; USD 50,000 (2004) Emergency Assistance under the World Heritage Fund.

Previous monitoring missions

Since January 2004: several UNESCO missions; October 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a)  Lack of a comprehensive management plan; (issue resolved)

b)  The boundaries of the property inscribed on an emergency basis were not aligned with the written text of the original Nomination File; (issue resolved)

c)  Development pressure related to the post-disaster reconstruction process.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1208/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The State Party submitted its state of conservation report on 1 February 2013. The extensive report includes information on the implementation of the corrective measures and the achievement of the Desired state of conservation to sustain the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and addressing the recommendations of the October 2011 reactive monitoring mission.

a)  Conservation of the Arg-e-Bam and other cultural heritage assets within the property

In general, conservation interventions continue to concentrate on the protection of remains, the stabilization of areas to prevent further decay and address vulnerabilities. In addition, some interventions have also been implemented so that spaces were rehabilitated for reutilization for different purposes. It is reported that some sections already restored at the Citadel were also assigned new functions. These uses include, among others, storage areas, exhibition areas, archaeology and restoration offices and areas for the production and exhibition of handicrafts.  Research has also been carried out to improve and strengthen the mud brick used for these interventions. Actions implemented included emergency conservation, as well as continuing interventions that were already underway. The report includes photographic records of all areas of intervention together with the objectives persued.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider the stabilisation and protection of the Arg-e-Bam and other significant cultural heritage assets within the property together with removal and documentation of debris has considerably progressed and therefore these measures have been met. However, they wish to note that consistency in the restoration approach still needs to be ensured.

b)  Completion of necessary scientific studies for the recognition, registration, and legal protection of properties with historical, cultural, and natural significance within the cultural landscape zone, as well as marking the protective boundaries around each property within this zone

The State Party reports that surveying has continued and technical maps produced that will form the basis for research and conservation. Maps have been produced both for the Arg-e Bam and for other heritage places located at the landscape areas. The State Party also reports on archaeological investigation and conservation surveys that have been carried out to update condition assessments. Archaeological surveys have also continued not only at the citadel but also at the Bam cultural landscape which are essential elements for the development of the complete archaeological map and will also serve to identify boundaries for the overall landscape. In addition, topographic maps of the Cultural Landscape were produced, which were complemented with aerial photography of the region. 

3D modelling and virtual reconstruction of some of the major complexes of the Citadel have been produced although how these will be used is not explained in the report. 

No additional information is provided on whether these maps of the cultural landscape will be used to define legal measures for the protection of the demarcated areas. The produced maps were not included in the report.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that the completetion of these studies will further strengthen the conservation and protection policies and should be completed as soon as possible. This requirement can be considered as partially completed and therefore should be subject of further state of conservation reporting.

c)  Implementation of the management plan

Management actions for the property have followed the provisions made in the Management Plan. Meetings have engaged diverse stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of the action plan. Funding from the State and other sources has been secured for the continuation of research, conservation and capacity building actions. International cooperation has also contributed to the furtherance of conservation interventions and is expected to continue in the future. 

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that the necessary steps have been taken to ensure effective management of the property and therefore this requirement has been met.

They also note that stronger regulatory measures need to be enforced in order to control construction in the buffer zone.

d)  Precise understanding and definition of the outer boundaries of the heritage areas surrounding the property

The boundaries of the property are clearly defined. As aforementioned, the topographic maps for the cultural landscape, complemented with the aerial photography of the region, have been produced.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider this requirement has been met.

e)  Adequate security of the heritage areas within the World Heritage property in addition to the Arg-e Bam

The measures taken to safeguard the property include the formation of a Security Unit for Arg-e Bam with 11 permanent guards equipped with vehicles. This Unit has been operational since 2007. Security measures in place continue to be implemented and no additional information is provided on whether personnel has been increased or if additional security measures have been implemented for the remaining 13 component parts of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider this requirement has been met.

f)  Other conservation issues, visitor management, regulatory measures to restrict encroachment and development pressure

The State Party also reports on archaeo-geophysical studies carried out, as well as research for the dating of architectural remains. Capacity building programmes for local people, stakeholders and students were continued for conservation, as well as awareness raising activities concerning legal issues and the significance of the landscape.  As for promotion, a tourism station and exhibitions were prepared and the tourist route was developed and upgraded. No further information is provided on whether the public use strategy has been developed.

As for the control of pressures derived from development, the utilitarian shift of lands within the limits of the citadel and the surroundings has been brought under control and mechanisms are still in place to inspect requests before permits are issued. However, the issue of illegal construction still needs to be fully addressed and will require the support of different government agencies.

The October 2011 reactive monitoring mission noted the encroachment and existence of a gas station in the buffer zone of the property and was informed that the BamGovernor was waiting for the court decision to remove the service station. No information was provided in the State Party report. The State Party also reports on initial steps taken to establish an international research centre for earthern heritage at Bam Citadel as requested by the Committee in Decision 36 COM 7A.27. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are of the view that the State Party has addressed the work needed to complete the remaining corrective measures identified by the October 2011 reactive monitoring mission and has now met the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. They recommend that the World Heritage Committee commend the State Party for the sustained efforts made in implementing the corrective measures for the property. Therefore, they recommend that the World Heritage Committee consider the removal of this property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. They note however that the property remains vulnerable, in particular the challenges in controlling illegal construction, effective protection of the buffer zone, achieving consistency in restoration, and ensuring continuous site security. 

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7A.31

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A,

2.   Recalling Decision 3 6 COM 7A.2 7 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.   Commends the considerable efforts made by the State Party, with the support of the international community, to address the threats that led to the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and to implement the corrective measures;

4.   Considers that the State Party has addressed the work needed to complete the remaining corrective measures identified by the October 2011 reactive monitoring mission and has now met the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

5.   Notes that the property remains vulnerable and recommends that the State Party pay attention to the following:

a)   Revise the existing Management Plan to include visitor management component and action plans with timeframes and adequate resources for implementation,

b)   Control illegal construction and ensure effective protection of the buffer zone through the development and adoption of regulatory measures,

c)   Achieve consistency in restoration through the development guidelines and criteria for interventions to ensure a balanced approach to conservation that sustains the conditions of authenticity and integrity of the property,

d)   Ensure continuing site security with the involvement of the local authorities and communities;

6.   Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

7.   Decides to remove Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Islamic Republic of Iran) from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 8C.3

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-13/37.COM/7A, WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add and WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add.2),

2.  Decides to remove the following property from the List of World Heritage in Danger: