1.         Meidan Emam, Esfahan (Iran (Islamic Republic of)) (C 115)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (i)(v)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: 5,710 Euros (France/UNESCO Cooperation Agreement)

Previous monitoring missions

1998: World Heritage Centre mission; 2001: France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement mission; 2002: World Heritage Centre mission; June 2004 and May 2005: UNESCO missions; May 2006: World Heritage Centre mission ; June, December 2006 and April 2007: UNESCO missions 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Uncoordinated urban development - construction of a large scale commercial complex;

b) Subway route through the historical axis of Esfahan.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

The State Party report submitted on 30 January 2008 provides detailed information on the following:

a) A consensus has been reached between the provincial and city authorities to modify the building as recommended by the World Heritage Committee. The lowering of the height of the tower by two stories was started in October 2005 and is continuing;

b) A management plan for the Cultural and Historic Axis of Esfahan has been completed and forms the basis for the preparation of the possible extension of Meidan Emam as Isfahan’s Historic Axis. It addresses issues such as sustainable development, enhancement of architectural, archaeological and natural assets and their urban and landscape settings;

c) The subway route which was reported on in 2007 has been successfully diverted and efforts are now underway to find solutions for the subway stations located close to the historic centre of Isfahan to more adequately reflect the cultural specificities of the city.

The State Party report does however not provide any information as was requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) concerning the elaboration of mechanisms for undertaking systematic cultural, social and environmental impact assessments prior to designing large scale development projects, which might impact on the outstanding universal value of the property. 

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.72

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.71, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party to address the overall preservation and conservation of the property and particularly the successful diversion of the subway;

4. Also notes the progress made in drafting the nomination dossier for the extension of the property to include the Cultural and Historic Axis of Esfahan;

5. Urges the State Party to complete the reduction of the height of the Jahan Nama Commercial Complex to ensure minimum negative impacts upon the visual integrity of the property;

6. Requests the State Party to establish mechanisms for undertaking systematic cultural, social and Environmental Impact Assessments prior to designing large scale development projects, which might impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, a detailed report on the progress to complete the reduction of the height of the Jahan Nama Commercial Complex tower and in establishing assessment mechanisms for large scale projects, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.