State of Conservation
Site of Palmyra
(Syrian Arab Republic)
Factors affecting the property in 1994*
- Air pollution
- Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
- Ground transport infrastructure
- Localised utilities
- Major linear utilities
- Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
- Water (rain/water table)
- Other Threats:
serious weathering of many stone blocks
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1994
Requests approved: 1
Total amount approved : 15,000 USD
|1994||Palmyra: topographical and architectural studies to be ... (Not approved)||0 USD|
|1989||Contribution to a computer aided design conservation ... (Approved)||15,000 USD|
Missions to the property until 1994**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1994
UNESCO experts noted very serious weathering of many stone blocks particularly at the base of the columns due to capillary rising and variations in humidity and temperature. However, other disturbing points should be mentioned and in particular the urban growth of the neighbouring agglomeration and an economic and technical development project prejudicial to the conservation of the site: an international tarmac road which crosses the site is subject to heavy automobile and truck traffic (vibrations, pollution, risk of accidents...), a monumental entrance to the site built within its perimeter, a pipeline crossing the southern necropolis, a brightly-coloured antenna on hill, the construction of an hotel close to the thermal springs...).
The Bureau could recommend that the Syrian authorities take into account the recommendations of the UNESCO experts, especially with regard to long-term urban planning for the rapidly expanding agglomeration, the implementation of the long-deferred road by-pass project which would skirt the site, and the extension of the protective limits of the archaeological site.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1994
18 EXT.BUR V.B.1.1
Examination of requests for International Assistance - Cultural Heritage - Requests on which the Bureau took a decision - Technical cooperation
In examining the 10 technical cooperation requests for cultural properties, 2 submitted by ICCROM and 8 by State Parties, the Bureau decided, in accordance with previous decisions taken by the Committee, to give priority to activities for properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger and to those having a catalytic effect rather than for the funding of specific restoration works.
Requests approved by the Bureau
1. The Historic Town of Ouro Preto (Brazil) - US$20,000
The Bureau approved US$20,000 out of the total amount of US$50,000, subject to obtaining assurance that the balance of US$30,000 for the construction of 5 houses for the relocation of the affected inhabitants be funded by other sources.
2. ICCROM Technical Assistance - US$25,000
The Bureau approved this financial support to the ICCROM Technical Assistance programme to supply institution of State Parties, free of charge, with basic documentation, scientific and didactic equipment and conservation products.
3. Printing of Management Guidelines for World Cultural Heritage Sites, by B.M. Feilden and J. Jokilehto - US$6,900
The Bureau approved this request to support the printing cost of the French-language edition of this publication if othersources, notably of the Francophone community cannot be identified.
Requests not approved by the Bureau
1. Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania) (International Conference on Ngorongoro, in Bellagio, Italy)
The Bureau, while recognizing the value of the proposed international conference in Italy for the Tanzanian conservators, did not recommend approval of this request in view of other requests of higher priority and due to the availability of other funding sources for this conference at the Rockfeller Foundation in Italy.
2. Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic)
The Bureau did not recommend the approval by the Committee of this request for US$90,000. It recommended that the Committee requests the Syrian authorities to prepare a global and coherent conservation programme for this site in accordance with the recommendations of the UNESCO expert mission which took place in December 1993.
18 BUR VI.B
Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic)
The Bureau was informed that, in accordance with the recommendations of UNESCO's expert mission carried out in December 1993, a working meeting was held at Headquarters on 31 May 1994, with the Delegate of the Syrian Arab Republic to UNESCO and the national authorities in charge of the conservation of the cultural heritage.
The World Heritage Centre was thus informed that the Syrian authorities are currently preparing a global project to safeguard and develop the city of Palmyra, for which a contribution to the national financial efforts will be requested from the Committee at its eighteenth session in December 1994, inasmuch as all the components of this global plan will have been defined. The Bureau noted with satisfaction the progress made on this project.
18 COM XII.3
Requests for International Assistance: Technical Cooperation - Cultural heritage
The Committee noted that the Bureau in examining the ten technical cooperation requests for cultural properties, two submitted by ICCROM and eight by States Parties, gave priority to activities for properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger and to those having a catalytic affect rather than for the funding of specific restoration works, in accordance with previous decisions taken by the Committee.
Reauests approved by the Bureau:
- The Historic Town of Ouro Preto (Brazil) - US$20,000
The Bureau approved US$20,000 out of the total amount of US$50,000, subject to obtaining assurance that the balance of US$30,000 for the construction of five houses for the relocation of the affected inhabitants is funded by other sources.
- ICCROM Technical Assistance - US$25,000
The Bureau approved this financial support to the ICCROM Technical Assistance Programme to supply institutions of State Parties, free of charge, with basic documentation, scientific and didactic equipment and conservation products.
- Printing of Management Guidelines for World Cultural Heritage Sites, by B.M. Feilden and J. Jokilehto - US$6,900
The Bureau approved this request to support the printing cost of the French-language edition of this publication if other sources, notably of the Fra-ncophone community cannot be identified.
Requests approved by the Committee:
The Committee approved the following requests on the basis of the recommendations of the Bureau:
- Old City of Dubrovnik (Croatia) - US$50,000
The Committee approved the full requested amount of US$ 50,000 for, inter alia, the purchase of equipment for the documentation centre; expertise for the development of a tourism development plan; promotional and educational material and activities on World Heritage in Dubrovnik.
- Wieliczka Salt Mine (Poland) - US$100,000
The Committee approved this request for US$100,000 to purchase the dehumidifying equipment required for the preservation of the salt sculptures of this World Heritage Site in Danger.
- Kathmandu Valley (Nepal) - US$52,000
The Committee approved the requested US$ 52,000 for the deployment of a UNESCO international technical advisor for 6 months in view of the serious and urgent need for strengthen measures to redress the present state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley.
- The Complex of the Hue Monuments (Vietnam) - US$108,000
(Upgrading of the Hue Conservation Laboratory)
The Committee approved the amount of US$108,000 to meet the cost of laboratory equipment purchase (US$ 72,700) and related short-term training to enable the Hue authorities to have the basic facilities to overcome the present obstacles to conservation. The World Heritage Centre should, however, be consulted on the list of equipment, and approve the detailed specification and cost estimate; as well as the selection of the international experts.
- Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey) - US$80,000
(Restoration of the mosaics of Hagia-Sophia)
The Committee approved an amount of $80,000 to complete the final phase of this restoration project.
Requests not approved by the Committee:
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania)
(International Conference on Ngorongoro, in Bellagio, Italy)
The Committee endorsed the Bureau's view not to approve this request although the value of the proposed international conference in Italy for the Tanzanian conservators is recognized, and in view of the fact that other funding sources are available for this Conference at the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy.
- Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic)
The Committee did not approve this request for US$90,000 but suggested that the Syrian authorities submit an alternative request to prepare a global and coherent conservation programme for this site in accordance with the recommendations of the UNESCO expert mission which took place in December 1993.
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”).