1.         Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) (C 276rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2007

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   2007-present

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

State of war in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property.

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

This will be defined as soon as the situation allows it.

Corrective measures identified

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

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

c) Maintenance and emergency conservation activities.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

No specific timeframe has yet been set by the World Heritage Committee or State Party, which mainly depends upon the evolution of the situation in the country.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/276/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/276/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 100,000 from the Nordic World Heritage Fund for training and documentation aiming at the preparation of the Nomination File.

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

State of war in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/276/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

At its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), the World Heritage Committee noted its concern related to the destruction of archaeological remains and called upon the State Party to implement the corrective measures identified, in particular: the establishment of a local management unit on the site, the preparation and implementation of a conservation and management plan and maintenance and emergency conservation activities. It had also requested the State Party to invite, should the situation allow, a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission. Due to the security constraints, such a mission was not possible.

The State Party submitted a report, in Arabic, dated 8 March 2009, which stressed that the large size of the property made it difficult to work on without constraints. . The report notes that the military base within the property has not been removed despite the request from the State Board of Antiquities. The report also notes as well expansion projects for the new city that appear, so far, not to reach the boundaries of the property, and whose extent is being planned in positive collaboration with site authorities.

The report also provides information, further to a survey by the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, on the alarming state of conservation of some monuments within the property, affected by wheathering, lack of maintenance and facts of war (gunshots marks and destruction by heavy weaponry), in particular:

a) The Malwiya Mosque: parts of the outside wall destroyed by humidity and salinity; the plaza level of the mosque affected by the irons bars and reinforced concrete (remnants of the maintenance work of the previous regime, which had intended at that time to roof the whole mosque with concrete)>This work caused the removal of all original floors made of Farshi brick.;

b) The Malwiya Minaret: no restoration of the upper part bombed in 2006; damage to the entrance due to gunshots; cracks in the staircase;

c) Al Khalifa Palace: Bab Al Amma (the public gate) damaged by humidity and salinity; cracks in the body of the main Iwan; collapse of tiles of the western Iwan of the circular pool.

d) Abu Dalaf Mosque: collapse of tiles from the vault of the prayer house; gunshot damage to the staircase of the minaret; bases of the walls affected by humidity and salinity.

 

The State Party is requesting technical assistance and scientific advice from the World Heritage Centre “to rescue the buildings that were exposed to the natural factors like humidity, rains, underground waters, winds, erosion etc. , and how to conserve these buildings over a wide geographical area and under abnormal security conditions.”

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are very concerned by the reported damages to the property and recommend that an International Assistance Request be submitted as soon as possible so that means can be found to provide the expertise needed.

 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 33 COM 7A.17

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7A.17 adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Requests the State Party, should the situation allow it, to implement the corrective measures identified:

a) Establishment of a local management unit on the site,

b) Preparation and implementation of a conservation and management plan,

c) Maintenance and emergency conservation activities;

4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and a proposal for the desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

5. Encourages the State Party to submit an International Assistance request for technical cooperation in order to address the damages to the property, and the need to develop remedial strategies which take into account the geographical extent of the property and its present security conditions;

6. Calls upon the international community to provide all necessary assistance to the State Party in the protection of this property;

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

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a report for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

9. Decides to retain Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 33 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-09/33.COM/7A, WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add and WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Corr),

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