State of Conservation (SOC)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:16,667USD
|1999||Seminar on Byblos at Delft University of Technology (27-29 April ...||10,000 USD|
|1998||Training Programme of Conservators-Restorers in the field of ...||6,667 USD|
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Need for a Management Plan and a Master Plan
- Plans for an extension of the jetty
Current conservation issues
Following the request of the Committee, a report on the state of conservation of the site was submitted by the State Party, on 7 March 2003. In the report, the General Directorate of Antiquities (DGA) informs that a certain number of actions have been taken since 2000, including an assessment of the state of conservation of archaeological structures, a feasibility study of the consolidation of walls dating from the Calcolithic period, cleaning and disinfestation, as well as a fence surrounding the archaeological area. In addition, the State Party confirms that new visitor paths, the setting up of a security gangway, and the opening of the site Museum within the Medieval Citadel have been accomplished, with funding from the Ministry of Culture of Quebec.
The same report mentions that pending the elaboration of a study by the Ministry of Transportation and its submission to the DGA for advice, the project for the extension of the jetty of the port has been halted. As far as The World Bank project is concerned, the Centre received the final studies prepared in view of its negotiation between the Government of Lebanon and the Bank's Board. Unlike Tyre and Baalbeck, the Byblos component of this project only includes interventions in the historic urban core of the site, and does not foresee any action on the archaeological sector. In its comments dated 10 February 2003, addressed also to the competent Lebanese authorities, while recognizing and appreciating the beneficial impact of the rehabilitation works foreseen in the urban area of the site, the Centre recalls that the archaeological site of Byblos was considered to require urgent conservation and enhanced interpretation by an extensive ICOMOS report of 2002.
Considering that for Baalbeck and Tyre The World Bank project has adopted a balanced approach between conservation of archaeological heritage and urban development, and taking also into account that the historic city of Byblos appears to be in a better state of conservation than the two other mentioned cities, the World Heritage Centre wondered if it would have not been possible, and desirable, to reserve some funding for heritage conservation for the site of Byblos as well. A proposal for an extension of the pier within the port was included within the studies prepared for The World Bank Project. This issue has been discussed several times between the Lebanese authorities and the World Heritage Centre, which reiterated the negative impact of a new construction within the port, both visually and with respect to potential underwater heritage.
Finally, concerning the proposed promenade around the archaeological site, and taking into account that this should be executed over very important remains on the ground and possibly extending below the water level, the World Heritage Centre considered that a thorough study of the ancient topography should have been carried out to support the project, and recommended, therefore, postponing its execution until sufficient information is available for the DGA to assess the impact of the promenade on the site.
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee ,
1. Congratulates the State Party, as well as the Ministry of Culture of Quebec, for the considerable efforts made towards the improvement of the property and its better presentation;
2. Invites the State Party to consider integrating a component for the conservation and interpretation of the archaeological sector of Byblos within the scope of the World Bank Project;
3. Recommends the Lebanese authorities to discard proposals to further extend the jetty of the port and to postpone the project for a promenade around the archaeological property until sufficient information is available for the General Directorate of Antiquities (DGA) to assess its impact on the ancient remains, including those underwater.
 Decision adopted without discussion.
Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 38
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Congratulates the State Party, as well as the Ministry of Culture of Quebec, for the considerable efforts made towards the improvement of the site and its better presentation,
2. Invites the State Party to consider the possibility of integrating a component for the conservation and interpretation of the archaeological sector of Byblos within the scope of The World Bank Project,
3. Recommends to the Lebanese authorities to discard proposals to further extend the jetty of the port and to postpone the project for a promenade around the archaeological site until sufficient information is available for the DGA to assess its impact on the ancient remains, including those underwater.
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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”).