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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7A.21
Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic) (C 23)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7B.57, 38 COM 7A.12 and 39 COM 7A.36adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 38th (Doha, 2014) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively;
  3. Taking into account Decision 40 COM 7A.22 on the World Heritage properties of the Syrian Arab Republic, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul, 2016),
  4. Condemns the deliberate acts of destructions at the property and deplores the considerable damage to the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  5. Acknowledges the documentation and damage assessment undertaken by the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) at the site and at the museum, as well as the Rapid Assessment mission dispatched by UNESCO’s Director General;
  6. Notes with concern the pressures to act quickly to reverse the damage at the property and considers that before any restoration work is undertaken, the property will require detailed studies and extensive field work, and also discussions on defining optimal approaches as well as considerations that go beyond technical issues, including adequate conditions on the ground;
  7. Welcomes the commitment that the development of recovery plans for the property will be undertaken in close consultation with the international scientific community and underlines the need to ensure that there is also broad consultation amongst national stakeholders as well as close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and that adequate time is given for the completion of the overall process;
  8. Reiterates its view that meanwhile the State Party should safeguard Palmyra through minimal first-aid interventions, to prevent theft, further collapse and natural degradation;
  9. Calls on the international community to provide financial support for the emergency measures that are required at the property;
  10. Requests to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to proceed to a comprehensive assessment of the state of conservation of the property and identify measures needed to reverse the decay and ensure the conservation and protection of the property, as soon as the security situation allows;
  11. Decides to retain the Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
40 COM 7A.21
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Site of Palmyra
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision