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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.40
Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures (Uzbekistan) (C 603rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.77, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the recent decisions by the State Party to address some significant threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including through regulatory changes, continuing improvements to management planning and guidance documents, the cancellation of demolition and development projects, the current moratorium on demolition and development, the relocation of the Samarkand Touristic Zone, and the revision of the Traffic Scheme;
  4. Also welcomes the preparation of new Urban Design Guidelines, a Master Plan for the City and a new revised Management Plan for the property, notes that additional work is still needed to integrate the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach within the Master Plan, and requests that the overall moratorium on demolition and new development remain in place until the integrated Master Plan for the City and the Management Plan for the property are finalised, after submission to the World Heritage Centre and review by the Advisory Bodies;
  5. Takes note of the 2020 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission, and urges the State Party to implement fully its recommendations, having particular regard to:
    1. Improved communication concerning World Heritage requirements, processes and procedures between the national, regional and municipal authorities of the State Party,
    2. Capacity building and training regarding requirements of the Convention, the Operational Guidelines and the HUL Recommendation,
    3. The preparation of guidelines for the mahalla residential precincts, covering conservation, the introduction of new infrastructure and alterations and additions to existing dwellings,
    4. The development of a public realm design code,
    5. The removal or substantial revision of the illegal ‘Imari’ development and changes to the Hilton Hotel development,
    6. Improved public consultation and communication of World Heritage values to the local stakeholders;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies:
    1. Regulations and guidelines for the development, restoration, and adaptive reuse of the historic centre and its buffer zones, as previously requested,
    2. A comprehensive programme of intended conservation projects,
    3. Details of the proposed physical conservation programme for Bibi Khanoum Ensemble and Mosque, which should be undertaken in logical stages, with priority given to urgent stabilisation works, and guided by expert advice and a comprehensive site-specific conservation plan,
    4. The revised Traffic Scheme for the City,
    5. The foreseen proposal for a minor boundary modification concerning the adjustment of the buffer zone to align it with mahalla boundaries, to be prepared and submitted in accordance with paragraph 164 and Annex 11 of the Operational Guidelines;
    6. Reports on the social and other measures taken relating to communication and enforcement of the moratorium on demolition of houses and residential areas at the property;
  7. Further requests the State Party to pursue alternative locations for the proposed astronomical complex near the observatory Mirzo Ulughbek, in accordance with the ICOMOS Technical Review;
  8. Reminds the State Party that it is invited to submit, in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, detailed project documentation related to any pressing priority projects, which are proposed to proceed, despite the general moratorium;
  9. Encourages the State Party to pursue the establishment and operation of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) for all cultural World Heritage properties in Uzbekistan, which should include representatives of regulatory authorities and appropriately skilled and experienced experts, to oversee the conservation of the property, the protection of its OUV, and the implementation of decisions and mission recommendations;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session.
Decision Code
44 COM 7B.40
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2021 Samarkand – Crossroad of Cultures
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision