1.         Hatra (Iraq) (C 277rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2015-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/277/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1999-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 3,500
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted (for all World Heritage Sites of Iraq):

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 31 January 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/277/documents. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

The State Party recalls the obligation, under international agreements, of all warring parties to protect cultural property in times of armed conflict. It further recommends international action for an immediate and rapid campaign of initial conservation for sites that have been liberated; to send high level missions to assess the damage at World Heritage sites; to encourage universities and scientific institutions to begin the work of conservation; and to initiate long-term strategic planning for historic sites in the fields of protection and management.

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

On 23 and 24 February 2017, UNESCO and the Iraqi Government organized an International Coordination Conference on the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Liberated Areas of Iraq. The Conference gathered the international scientific community to assess with the Iraqi authorities the situation in these areas and outline priorities in terms of needed actions and resources. The Conference laid the ground for an emergency, medium and long-term action plan; one of its outcomes was also to establish a joint UNESCO-Iraq Steering Committee to coordinate national and international initiatives for the safeguarding and restoration of cultural heritage in the liberated areas of Iraq.

The continuing absence of information about the state of conservation of the property continues to be a very grave concern.

On 26 April 2017, the Governmental forces liberated the site. Preliminary reports, confirmed by UNITAR/UNOSAT satellite image analysis indicate that Hatra has suffered further destruction since 2015. Once security conditions permit, it will be essential that a rapid emergency assessment of the damages incurred be carried out by the responsible authorities in close collaboration with the UNESCO Office for Iraq, prior to undertaking emergency actions, and that any subsequent emergency stabilization work be undertaken according to the principle of minimal intervention.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7A.34

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.11, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Expresses its great concern about the state of conservation of the property, following intentional destructive acts, and about the continuing lack of detailed information on the state of conservation of the property, and requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed about the situation on the ground;
  4. Encourages the State Party to continue to pursue its efforts to ensure the protection of the property, despite the difficult prevailing situation, and in particular to start implementing urgently the priority actions outlined at the February 2017 International Coordination Conference on the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Liberated Areas of Iraq, with the support of UNESCO and the international community;
  5. Also encourages the State Party to carry out a rapid emergency assessment of the damages incurred, in close collaboration with UNESCO, before undertaking emergency actions and as soon as the situation allows;
  6. Urges all parties associated with the situation in Iraq to refrain from any action that would cause further damage to cultural heritage of the country and to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage;
  7. Launches an appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage coming from Iraq as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2199 of February 2015, 2253 of December 2015 and 2347 of March 2017;
  8. Calls on all UNESCO Member States to support emergency safeguarding measures, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
  10. Decides to retain Hatra (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 41 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/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: