Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1982
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/190/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
January 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; August 2008: World Heritage Centre mission.
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014
On 16 April 2014, the State Party submitted a brief report on the state of conservation of the property with maps and pictures showing roughly the areas which have suffered from the violations, available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/documents/
The State Party confirms that the main factors affecting the property are the urban encroachment and violations consisting in the construction of buildings and a road within the archaeological areas thus leading to the destruction of the remains and notes the recent acceleration of those factors. The State Party indicates that the archaeological areas which are most affected are the first and second archaeological campuses, Path way, Wadi Bel Gadir, and Temple of Demeter. The archaeological remains located within the modern urban settlement of Shahat are in a critical condition, undocumented and unprotected.
In general, the property is suffering from a serious lack of maintenance, and the use of inappropriate conservation techniques and materials.
To address the on-going threats and in order to respond to the World Heritage Committee’s decisions, the Department of Antiquities sent a mission to the site on 7-9 April 2014 which assessed the damaged areas and antiquities warehouses. The mission also held a series of meetings with the local authorities, community and civil society representatives. These meetings focused notably on the need to raise awareness about the importance to protect the site, as part of humanity’s heritage, and to undertake a series of emergency measures to stop the violations at the site and ensure the latter’s protection.
UNESCO is currently supporting the Libyan authorities in providing urgent measures (mainly training of guards, repairing of the fence, rehabilitation of guard posts on the property and at the museum/warehouses), as well as supporting the production of a map of the endangered areas. The World Monument Fund conducted a study on the “Sewage discharge in Wadi Bel Gadir and its effects on the archaeological site and surrounding populace” (December 2013), and is currently collaborating with the Libyan authorities to consolidate the walls of the Demeter Temple. The World Bank is currently collaborating with the Libyan authorities to elaborate a management plan for the property.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
There is serious concern that the urban encroachment at the property and its relating destruction have increased since the end of the conflict in Libya due to the deterioration of safety and to difficulties in local governance. The responsible national and local authorities have difficulties to stop these violations and undertake emergency measures to protect the site. There is also concern about the lack of detailed information about the situation on the ground which makes it difficult to have a precise idea of the damage and threats at the site, although the State Party submitted a map thereon.
It is recommended that the State Party undertake emergency measures to stop the violations and initiate a dialogue between all institutions and parties concerned to address the issue which threatens the integrity of the site, including the need for housing, which seems to be at the origin of the urban encroachment, outside the property and its buffer zone.
It is also recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to visit the site as soon as possible in view of establishing an accurate assessment of the damage at the site and envisage the necessary steps to reverse the on-going situation.
Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.2
The World Heritage Committee,