1.         Abu Mena (Egypt) (C 90)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2001-present

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

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

Following the reactive monitoring mission carried out in November 2005, a series of corrective measures were identified and discussed with the State Party. Those measures would allow reaching the benchmarks necessary for the removal of the property from the World Heritage List in Danger which are being proposed in the draft decision below.

Corrective measures identified

The corrective measures recommended during the 2005 reactive monitoring mission are proposed in the draft decision below.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

At its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), the Committee took note of the timeframe proposed by the State Party which was of three years. However, at this stage, this seems unrealistic and an additional year is recommended in the draft decision.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/90/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 7,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/90/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

Hydrology expert mission in 2002; World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission in November 2005

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Rise in the water table;

b) Impact on structures due to earth trembling and other forms of damage likely to result from the use of heavy earth-moving equipment;

c) Lack of conservation plan, defining short-, medium-, and long-term objectives and establishing technical parameters (materials, techniques, etc);

d) Need for a management plan, to include research, presentation and interpretation, the role of stakeholders (e.g. the Mar Mena community), staffing, sponsorship, visitor facilities, access, etc.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/90/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The State Party supplied a “Technical Report on Abu Mina Monastery Site and Underground Water Problems by Dr. Hassan Fahmy Iman (Consultant to the Supreme Council of Antiquities)”, which was received on 30 January 2007.

It was reported that the proposed conservation plan would concentrate on the protection of surface and below-ground archaeological elements during the lowering of the water table, to monitor the structural stability of all elements.Recent technological developments will be used to assess the structural efficiency of the building materials. An architectural documentation system is to be set up. Furthermore, a deterioration phenomena survey, geotechnical investigations, and structural analysis will be carried out.

The report indicates that a detailed soil investigation was carried out, including monitoring of the ground water level variations, field tests and the production of maps. Based on the data gathered, a proposal is included for the lowering of the water table.

A draft outline for a restoration plan is also included, reiterating the recommendations of the experts’ mission of 2005.

In February 2007, in response to the request formulated within the Retrospective Inventory exercise, the State Party provided the World Heritage Centre with an appropriate map of the property, clearly indicating its boundaries. The next step is to adopt a buffer zone that would protect the area from development pressure, as the one included in the report is not clear enough nor confirmed officially.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7A.16

  The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7A.19, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),
  3. Congratulates the State Party for its efforts in addressing the issue of the rising water table;
  4. Adopts the following, identified by the 2005 reactive monitoring mission, as the desired state of conservation for the property:

a) Consolidated structures;

b)Water table lowered and monitoring system established in and around the property;

c)Management plan implemented;

5.Urges the State Party to implement the necessary corrective measures, by 2010, as follows:

a) Carry out a rapid condition survey of all excavated remains and urgent conservation measures in order to provide protection to structures against earth trembling and other forms of damage likely to result from the use of heavy earth-moving equipment;

b) Lower the water table by means of drainage ditches and pipes, inside and around the archaeological area;

c) Establish an efficient system for monitoring the water table in the archaeological site and in the surrounding zones;

d) Prepare a conservation plan, defining short-, medium-, and long-term objectives and establishing technical parameters (materials, techniques, etc);

e) Undertake consultations with stakeholders with the objective of preparing a management plan, to include research, presentation and interpretation, the role of stakeholders (e.g. the Mar Mena community), staffing, sponsorship, visitor facilities, access, etc.

6.Requests the State Party to identify a buffer zone surrounding the core area of the property, together with protection regulations and to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008 the relevant information and map for consideration by the World Heritage Committee;

7. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

8.Further requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2008, a detailed progress report on the implementation of the above measures, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

9. Decides to retain Abu Mena (Egypt) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 31 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-07/31.COM/7A and WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add, WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC-07/31.COM/7A.Add.3),

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