State of Conservation
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
- Ground transport infrastructure
- Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
- Legal framework
- Management systems/ management plan
- Other Threats:
Important conservation problems ; Need to give more importance to the wealth of the archaeological heritage and of the natural coastal landscape
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Need for an international safeguarding campaign (issue resolved)
- Construction of a tourist complex (land fill) (issue resolved)
- Construction project of a large fish market (issue resolved)
- Construction project of a coastal motorway (issue resolved)
- Uncontrolled construction (issue resolved)
- Project to build a new tourist marina (issue resolved)
- Road construction project
- Need for a Urbain Master Plan for the city
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 4
Total amount approved : 29,000 USD
|2001||Installation of Plaques and Publication of Leaflets to ... (Approved)||2,500 USD|
|2001||Geoarchaeological study for the ancient ports of Tyre (Approved)||20,000 USD|
|1999||Photo Exhibition on Lebanese (Baalbeck and Tyre) and ... (Approved)||2,500 USD|
|1986||Consultancy to evaluate damage to Tyre (Approved)||4,000 USD|
Missions to the property until 2003**
March 1995: UNESCO mission
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003
Following the Committee’s request to the State Party, a report on the state of conservation of Tyre was drawn up by the General Directorate of Antiquities, in which the State Party stressed the following points:
- the trace of the roadway to the east of Tyre has been modified;
- the Master Plan of the city has been approved by governmental decree;
- an agreement has been concluded with the Japanese Government for the elaboration of an archaeological map;
- The World Bank project: Phase I of the studies concerning the rehabilitation of the archaeological sites and the studies concerning the historic centre of the city of Tyre are finalised, as well as the study concerning the strengthening of the DGA. The implementation studies for the project (phase II) will be finalised in 2003, after which the project will enter its operational phase;
- the work to consolidate the structures of the Byzantine Basilica of Tyre, carried out by Dr. Sami el Masri, will soon be followed up by banking up for the sustainable conservation of the site;
- The same expert has undertaken a study for the conservation and rehabilitation of a funeral complex within the site of El Bass.
The Centre feels that the new Master Plan, although a considerable improvement over the former version, still does not provide sufficient protection for the non-urban zones with potential archaeological value, as well as the natural reserve to the south of the city. A list of recommendations drawn up by the Centre has been presented to the DGA (letter of 27 July 2002) with a view to their possible integration into the Master Plan.
The Centre was also requested to provide advice on all the studies pertaining to the World Bank project. This document presents a complete analysis of the Old City of Tyre, including possible suggestions for its conservation and development. It also includes a detailed sociological study and an inventory of all the historic buildings. The pilot actions proposed and the “building code” are all the more interesting, in that they propose to regulate the building activities in the historic core of the city by defining the typologies and coefficients for intervention. In this respect, the Centre stressed the need to integrate more detailed directives and regulations into this study to ensure the architectural quality of the urban fabric, beyond the respect for size and coefficients. These directives should include indications on the material, colour and form of the architectural elements to be used for the interventions on the old buildings, and the buildings of the private and public sectors, including street paving. All of these documents should become an integral part of the city’s Urban Master Plan.
A geo-archaeological research mission to Tyre was organised by the Centre under the World Heritage Fund. A Franco-Lebanese Team (CEDRE) undertook all the studies concerning the littoral geomorphology and underwater archaeology of the south port of Tyre. The report, in three volumes produced from 181 dives, proposes a safeguarding plan for the archaeological and natural heritage of the coastlines of Tyre, based on a multidiscliplinary approach, associating geosciences with archaeology. The experts concluded that it is necessary to continue the study of the linkage of the underwater and land archaeological remains south of the Tyre peninsula. With regard to the protection of the underwater archaeological heritage, it would be advisable to create a special protection zone. In this respect, the CEDRE report advised that the Urban Master Plan be modified to give more importance to the wealth of the archaeological heritage and of the natural coastal landscape, whilst respecting the zoning boundaries. The Master Plan could:
- set up the overall protection of the shallow waters, less than 5 metres deep;
- prohibit the anchoring of the ships in the South port, which destroys the structures and encourages looting;
- enforce a 500-metre perimeter for the protection of the archaeological vestiges of the North and South ports and along the west coast of the Tyre peninsula;
- consider the natural reefs of Poidebard a natural reserve;
- plan for preventive archaeological excavations before any subterranean development of the ports.
The creation of an Underwater Archaeology Department within the DGA is also envisaged. Moreover, the Centre received a letter dated 27 January 2003 concerning the project for the construction of an Institute for Islamic research on the south side of the Old City of Tyre, inside the archaeological zone. Although the Ministry of Culture gave official instructions for halting this project, the Centre has not received documents confirming the effective termination of this work.
In June-August 2002, a Geo-archaeological Research Mission, set up within the framework of the Franco-Lebanese CEDRE agreement and with financial assistance from the World Heritage Fund, visited the World Heritage site of Tyre to study its littoral geomorphology and underwater archaeology. The resulting report makes it clear that the submerged heritage of Tyre is of outstanding significance, a conclusion with which ICOMOS fully concurs. ICOMOS therefore urges the State Party to lose no time in implementing the reports' recommendations, with the objectives both of increasing our knowledge of this important site and extending the boundaries of the World Heritage site to include the underwater heritage of Tyre. In the opinion of ICOMOS this will greatly enhance the tourist potential of the site.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.39
The World Heritage Committee ,
1. Congratulates the State Party, as well as the Japanese Government and the World Bank, for the efforts undertaken for the safeguard of Tyre;
2. Invites the State Party to strengthen the Urban Master Plan for the city, taking into account the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre and those elaborated under the Franco-Lebanese Centre de Recherches Européennes (CEDRE) Programme for the protection of the underwater heritage;
3. Requests the State Party to halt the construction work of the Institute for Islamic Research on the south side of the Old City of Tyre and within the archaeological zone, and to take all necessary measures for the protection of the entire property;
4. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004, a report on the progress being made in the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004.
 Decision adopted without discussion.
Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 39
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Congratulates the State Party, as well as the Japanese Government and The World Bank, for the efforts undertaken for the safeguard of Tyre;
2. Invites the State Party to strengthen the Urban Master Plan for the city, taking into account the recommendations of the Centre and those elaborated under the Franco-Lebanese CEDRE Programme for the protection of the underwater heritage.
3. Requests the State Party to halt the construction work of the Institute for Islamic Research on the south side of the Old City of Tyre and within the archaeological zone, and to take all necessary measures for the protection of the entire site.
4. Requests the State Party to submit to the Centre by 1 February 2004, a report on the progress being made in the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations, for the consideration of the Committee at its 28th session in June 2004.
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”).