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

a) Relocation or cancellation of the dam project;

b) Emergency excavations and protective measures against seepage;

c) Establishment of a local management unit on the site;

d) Preparation and implementation of a conservation and management plan;

e) Protection and consolidation of fragile mud brick structures.

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 provided to the property: USD 6,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust

Previous monitoring missions

November 2002: UNESCO mission for the Makhool Dam project

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Partial flooding and seepage due to a dam building project;

b) Fragile mud brick structures;

c) Absence of a comprehensive conservation and management plan. 

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

The State Party submitted a short report which gives little information on the state of conservation of the property, on 21 January 2010.

The report notes that the headquarters of the City’s administration and the Department of Antiquities of the Sharqat district have been built in a location outside the archaeological zone. It also informs that tenders have been prepared and the required funds allocated in order to start implementing a project to protect the eastern part of the property from the rising TigrisRiver waters, as requested by the World Heritage Committee. The report also notes that the Makhul Dam project has not been cancelled.

The State Party report notes that while the regular monitoring indicates that the general state of conservation is good, essential maintenance work has been identified. However, given the scarcity of funds and the state of conservation of other Iraqi sites which are in greater need, such work seems unlikely. However, the State Party notes in its report that it hopes that maintenance work on the Tabira Gate and conservation work at the eastern side of the city, will be completed in 2010.

The State Party report notes that annual maintenance plans and estimates are in place for renovation and conservation work, but implementation is being held up due to insufficient allocations which are, as a rule, channelled to sites in worse condition than Ashur. 

Finally, considering the damages to which Iraqi antiquities are subjected to; and despite the the continued threat of the Makhul Dam project mentioned in previous reports, the State Party report requests the World Heritage Committee to maintain the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The report also stresses that the property is in need of international assistance and, to this end, asks for expert visits to the site, workshops on conservation of clay and brick buildings, and site management, and expresses the hope that grants can be provided to support the governmental efforts.

The State Party participated in the Periodic Reporting exercise and submitted an incomplete Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for Ashur on 13 January 2010 which was returned for revision. However, the State Party did not provide the required map of the property’s boundaries. 

The mission previously requested by the World Heritage Committee could not take place due to the overall situation in the country and the complexity of security and logistical requirements. The report however calls upon ICOMOS to send a mission to the property to evaluate the situation and assess needs. 

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies strongly support the need for a reactive monitoring mission at the earliest opportunity, as and when security conditions warrant.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies commend the State Party for its efforts to improve conservation of the sitebut are concerned by the lack of support available for needed maintenance and conservation measures. 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7A.18

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.16, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Commends the State Party for its efforts to protect the eastern part of the property from the rising waters of the Tigris River and recommends that the works be undertaken as soon as possible;

4. Requests the State Party to carry out necessary maintenance and conservation activities to avoid further damage;

5. Encourages the State Party, should the situation allow, to implement the corrective measures previously identified:

a) Relocation or cancellation of the dam project;

b) Protective measures against seepage;

c) Preparation and implementation of a conservation and management plan;

d) Protection and consolidation of fragile mud brick structures;

6. Also encourages the State Party to submit an International Assistance Request for the conservation of the property;

7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a proposal for the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and to finalize the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011, as well as to provide a detailed map of the boundaries of the property;

8. Calls upon the international community to assist, in every way possible, the State Party in the protection of this property;

9. Also requests the State Party, should the conditions allow it, to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to Ashur to assess the state of conservation of the property;

10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, an updated report for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

11. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-10/34.COM/7A, WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add.2),

2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: