1.         Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) (C 1130)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2003

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet established

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 50,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 6,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust

Previous monitoring missions

November 2002: UNESCO mission for the Makhool Dam project; June 2011: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 12 April 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report for the four World Heritage properties in Iraq as well as for ten of the eleven sites included in the country’s Tentative List. The report is available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/documents/.

The State Party reports that armed groups occupied the house of the German archaeological mission as well as the new house of the Iraqi archaeological mission, located at the south-west area of the property, at the ziggurat and the ancient palace. The State Party also reports that this occupation of the site has led to the striking of the armed groups’ positions by air forces on 27 and 29 August 2014. This striking caused damage to the house of the German archaeological mission as well as to the wall of Ashur and destroyed the glass cover that protects the Royal Cemetery.

The property being located in ISIL’s control area, it is very difficult to gather accurate information on its state of conservation.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

On 17 July 2014, an expert meeting held at UNESCO Headquarters led to the adoption of an Emergency Response Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Iraq’s Cultural Heritage (also see Part I of Document WHC-15/39.COM/7).

The absence of information about the situation at the site raises a very high concern. It would be essential, as soon as the security conditions permit, that the responsible authorities carry out a rapid assessment of the state of conservation of the property and submit the results of this assessment to the World Heritage Centre, prior to any action on the ground.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7A.25

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.2 adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the State Party for its efforts to ensure the protection of the property in spite of the difficult prevailing situation;
  4. Expresses its great concern about the absence of information on the state of conservation of the property and requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of the evolution of the situation on the ground;
  5. Also requests the State Party, as soon as the security conditions allow the responsible authorities to visit the site, to carry out a rapid assessment of the state of conservation of the property and submit the results of this assessment to the World Heritage Centre prior to any action on the ground;
  6. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  7. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: