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

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

In light of the present situation in the country, specific benchmarks could not be identified or discussed.

Corrective measures identified

[as identified in Decision 27 COM 8C.45]

a) Relocation or cancellation of the dam project;

b) Emergency excavations and protective measures against seepage;

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

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

e) Protection and consolidation of fragile mud brick structures.

The dam project has been cancelled and therefore items a) and b) are no longer applicable.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

No specific timeframe has yet been set by the Committee or the 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/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. Extra-budgetary funding is allocated to cultural heritage preservation in Iraq, if not specifically for the site of Ashur (equipment, training, etc.).

Previous monitoring missions

Assessment mission in November 2002

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 2007

As reported at the 28th (Suzhou, 2004), 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions of the Committee, the assessment mission to the site aiming at developing an emergency conservation plan as well as the basis for a management plan of the property, could not take place, due to security constraints. However, the building of the dam which had partly justified the inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger had been cancelled, thus diminishing the threats identified.

At the date of drafting this document, no written report had been received by the World Heritage Centre, which was however informed by the State Party that such a report could not be produced within the present conditions in the country.

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


Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7A.17

  The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7A,
  2.  Recalling Decision 30 COM 7A.20 adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),
  3. Notes with great concern the deterioration of the situation in Iraq and deplores the loss of human lives;
  4.  Requests the international community, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to continue their efforts in assisting the responsible Iraqi authorities in the protection of the natural and cultural heritage in the country;
  5. 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;
  6. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft statement of the desired state of conservation for the property based on its Outstanding Universal Value;
  7. Further requests the State Party, should the situation allow it, to establish an on-site management unit and to initiate the preparation of a Conservation and Management Plan for the property, and to present a report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;
  8. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) 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: