State of Conservation (SOC)
Factors affecting the property in 1999*
- Erosion and siltation/ deposition
- Human resources
- Illegal activities
- Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Need for an international safeguarding campaign
- Construction of a tourist complex (land fill) (issue resolved)
- Construction project of a large fish market
- Construction project of a coastal motorway
International Assistance granted to the property until 1999
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Approved: 13,167USD
|1999||Photo Exhibition on Lebanese (Baalbeck and Tyre) and other WH ...||2,500 USD|
|1998||Training Programme of Conservators-Restorers in the field of ...||6,667 USD|
|1986||Consultancy to evaluate damage to Tyre||4,000 USD|
Missions to the property until 1999**
March 1995: UNESCO mission
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999
Summary of previous deliberations: UNESCO’s Division of Cultural Heritage, responsible for the International Campaign launched in March 1998, has already begun to provide technical assistance with the dispatch in July 1998 of an expert in urbanism, whose report has been transmitted to the Lebanese authorities.
After having taken note of the Secretariat’s report, the Bureau welcomed the request of the Ministry of Public Works requesting UNESCO’s advice and their wish to strengthen cooperation between the Lebanese authorities and UNESCO in the preparation of a Management Plan for Tyr. The Bureau also requested:
- that the safeguarding of the archaeological and historical areas of Tyr be considered by the Lebanese authorities as of the highest priority for the preparation of the management plan, and
- that all infrastructural work within the site be suspended until the adoption of the management plan.
New information: Activities on the archaeological site of Tyre, in the framework of the International Safeguarding Campaign have slowed down somewhat since the last session of the World Heritage Committee, due to the change of Government of Lebanon and the nomination of a new Director-General of Antiquities.
The new Minister for Culture and Higher Education gave his agreement, by letter of 20 February 1999, to the composition of the International Scientific Committee (ISC) for Tyre. This official confirmation will make it possible to organize the first meeting of the ISC for Tyre in June.
At the request of the Minister, an information meeting on UNESCO’s activities in the field of cultural heritage protection in Lebanon, and more particularly for the site of Tyre, was held on Friday, 5 March 1999 in Paris. The Minister requested that the ISC meet, as soon as possible, notably to prepare the draft management plan, which is the basis for all future activities at the site of Tyre.
A promotional and information pamphlet, intended to stimulate fund-raising in favour of the Tyre Campaign is presently being prepared.
The Bureau may wish to continue co-operation between the Lebanese authorities and the World Heritage Centre in the framework of the International Campaigns.
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999
Twenty-second session of the Committee - Chapter VII.43
Twenty-third session of the Bureau - Chapter IV.67
New information: The International Scientific Committee (ISC) for the Campaign for Tyre met in Lebanon from 14 to 17 June 1999. Following an examination of the situation at the site and the development plans of the City of Tyre, prepared by the Lebanese authorities, the Committee expressed concerns about:
a) the risk of densification and engorgement of the city, including its archaeological zone, if the development plans are implemented as foreseen;
b) the total absence of buffer zones around the area inscribed as World Heritage and the development of rapid and uncontrolled construction adjacent to the site.
The International Scientific Committee recently recommended that the urgent appropriate measures be taken to safeguard the site:
· the adoption of an urban city planning to ensure the safeguard of archaeological zones and legal measures regulating the coherent integration and development of urban areas;
· in the absence of buffer zones, the protection of archaeological buildings be ensured through the creation of a green belt to separate them in a visible manner from the built-up area.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
The preparation of documents and the operational activities of this site, which is the object of an International Safeguarding Campaign, is the responsibility of the Division of Cultural Heritage. The Director of the World Heritage Centre reminded the members of the Bureau that, following the launching of the Campaign by the Director-General of UNESCO on 3 March 1998, the Bureau, at its twenty-second session in June 1998, had encouraged the Lebanese authorities to continue the Campaign in co-operation with UNESCO. It had strongly urged the Lebanese authorities to immediately halt all work likely to threaten the heritage of Tyr, and to improve the control mechanisms to prevent further destruction of the heritage of the region.
Taking account of the implementation of several activities such as the development of the highway and the port of Tyr, a letter was addressed to the Minister of Public Works in September 1998, jointly signed by the Director of the Centre and the Division of Cultural Heritage. This letter requested the suspension of all work likely to modify the character of the site of Tyr and its surroundings, inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The Division of Cultural Heritage consequently proposed four experts to the Lebanese authorities to comprise the International Scientific Committee, the names of whom were agreed upon by the Minister for Culture and Higher Education of Lebanon. This Committee, which met for the first time from 14 to 17 June 1999 in Lebanon, and Mr Azedine Beschaouch, chargé de mission to the Assistant Director-General for Culture participated. After meetings with the new Director General of Antiquities, Dr Chaker Ghadban, the Director General of Urbanism, Mr Joseph Abdel Ahad, and the Municipality of Tyr, the Committee compiled a report and detailed recommendations concerning the continuation of activities at Tyr.
The Bureau recommended continued co-operation between UNESCO and the Lebanese authorities, notably in the framework of international campaigns and, in endorsing the recommendations of the International Scientific Committee, emphasized the need:
a) to avoid further intensified urbanization of the old town of Tyr and to set and enforce limitations to the height of buildings;
b) for a buffer zone, in conformity with the 1972 Convention for properties inscribed on the World Heritage List;
c) to carry out explorations and soundings well in advance of all construction work, notably the along the length of the future highway;
d) of the creation of a special “natural” protection zone, where all construction is forbidden, except for light structures without foundations for possible tourist exploitation.
SOC: Tyre (Lebanon)
X.40 Tyre (Lebanon)
The Committee recalled the reports from the twenty-third ordinary and the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on the state of conservation of this property and adopted the following decision:
"The Committee thanked the Lebanese Government for their cooperation in the preservation of the City of Tyre. In view of the serious and persistent threats to the safeguarding of the site, the Committee requested that the recommendations of the International Scientific Committee be urgently implemented, particularly the adoption of a city management plan to ensure the safeguarding of the archaeological zones as well as their protection through the creation of an appropriate landscape design in co-operation with ICOMOS, ICCROM and IFLA. The Committee also requested the authorities to appoint a national coordinator and open a national account for the International Safeguarding Campaign as it was agreed with UNESCO, and recalled in the letter dated 7 July 1999 from the Director-General to the Minister of Culture".
The Bureau may wish to transmit the above report to the Committee for examination and recommend the following for adoption:
“The Committee thanks the Lebanese Government for their co-operation in the preservation of the City of Tyre. In view of the serious and persistent threats to the safeguarding of the site, the Committee requests that the recommendations of the International Scientific Committee be urgently implemented, particularly the adoption of a city management plan to ensure the safeguarding of the archaeological zones as well as their protection through the creation of an appropriate landscape design. The Committee also requests the authorities to appoint a national co-ordinator and open a national account for the International Safeguarding Campaign as it was agreed with UNESCO, and recalled in the letter dated 7 July 1999, from the Director-General to the Minister of Culture.”
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”).