1.         Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan (Iran (Islamic Republic of)) (C 1397)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2012

Criteria  (ii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1397/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1397/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1397/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation as requested by Decision 36 COM 8B.23 adopted at the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee (Saint Petersburg, 2012) at the time of inscription of the property. The State Party was requested to report on the following: revision of the Meydan-e Atiq project, strengthening the protection of the buffer zone and wider setting, putting in place monitoring indicators, and the development and adoption of an integrated conservation and Management Plan.

An ICOMOS Advisory Mission to the property has been invited by the State Party by letter of 13 March 2013 but had not taken place at the time of the preparation of this report.

Meydan-e Atiq project:

This proposed project is located partly in the buffer zone and is designed to adjoin the eastern bazaar structures connected to the walls of the property.

In its evaluation, ICOMOS considered that the project required revision both in terms of design and safety, preliminary archaeological investigations should be undertaken and that a Heritage Impact Assessment would be needed in order to review the potential impact of the project on the Outstanding Universal Value of the mosque and its setting.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend that the Committee regret that no information has been provided by the State Party on the requested revisions to the Meydan-e-Atiq project or on other requests made by the Committee in Decision 36 COM 8B.23 relating to the protection and management of the property.


They understand that an Advisory Mission is being planned which should provide the opportunity to consider any revised plans for the Meydan-e-Atiq project and related archaeological and impact assessments before decisions have been made. They consider that, in order to ensure that a satisfactory level of protection and management is in place for the property, measures to strengthen the protection of the buffer zone and its wider setting need to be taken, and monitoring indicators should be put in place, as soon as possible, as does the completed and adopted integrated conservation and Management Plan. 

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.63

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 8B.23 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Regrets that the State Party did not provide a state of conservation report as requested;

4.  Reiterates its requests to the State Party to urgently revise the Meydan-e Atiq project, in particular its north-western corner in the immediate vicinity of the Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan, in a way that will:

a)  not foresee any structural connection between the new galleries and the historic walls of the mosque or the structures connected to the mosque walls, which could transmit loads or vibrations to these,

b)  provide ample passage for pedestrians, in particular through redesign of the entrance gate situation to the Meydan in the north-western corner, to ensure that the mosque and its adjacent historic structures are not endangered by crowds accessing the square during major events,

c)  ensure that the overall design is appropriate to the local urban design tradition and setting of the mosque and sensitive to its Outstanding Universal Value,

d)  following the availability of a revised project design (following the criteria listed above) as well as a revised implementation schedule, conduct a comprehensive Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and further archaeological excavation in order to ensure that the revised project proposal does not cause any negative impact on the historic structure of the mosque or its setting;

5.  Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre detailed information on the revision of the Meydan-e Atiq project, including independently prepared HIA for the revised proposal, for review by the Advisory Bodies;

6.  Also reiterates its request to the State Party to invite an ICOMOS Advisory Mission to be financed by the State Party to assist in the revision of the Meydan-e Atiq project;

7.  Reiterates its recommendation to the State Party to give consideration to the following:

a)  ensure that the design and presentation of information in the property are based on the principle of minimal intervention in full respect for the aesthetic and religious significance of the Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan,

b)  give priority attention to the challenge posed by the necessary removal of the bracings in the shabestani domed areas;

8.  Further reiterates its requests to the State Party to strengthen the protection of the buffer zone and its wider setting and expand the monitoring mechanisms related to urban development, in particular through:

a)  integration of the buffer zone in the Isfahan Master Plan and municipal by-laws;

b)  development and adoption of an integrated conservation and Management Plan, with special sections on visitor management and risk-preparedness strategies;

9.  Also reiterates its recommendation to the State Party that Heritage Impact Assessments are carried out for any future developments in the buffer zone, such as further rehabilitation of the surrounding historic bazaar or the envisaged ablution facilities to the north-west of the mosque, in particular if these are intended to be directly attached to the mosque complex or in its immediate vicinity, to ensure that any developments do not impact adversely on the property and its wider setting;

10.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , a report on the state of conservation of the property, including progress made in the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the Committee at its 38th session in 2014.