1.         Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libya) (C 190)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1982

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(vi)

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

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission 18-28 January 2007

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Need to complete the Management Plan in order to co-ordinate actions in the short and medium term;

b) Need to provide a detailed map at the appropriate scale showing the boundaries of the core and buffer zones;

c) Threat to rock-cut monumental tombs as a result of inadequate protection, leading to vandalism and the development of agricultural activities in the rural zone and urban constructions;

d) Rectification of inappropriate earlier restoration work ;

e) Problem of discharge of sewage from the modern town into the Wadi Bel Ghadir;

f) Inadequate on-site security and control systems;

g) Need for a presentation and interpretation system for visitors and the local population.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/190/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The Management Plan for the property, and in particular the component Conservation Plan, must be completed as a matter of urgency.

More effective on-site security and control is urgently needed, so as to protect monuments against vandalism, particularly the rock-cut tombs located at the periphery of the ancient city.

Much of the earlier restoration work is unacceptable in contemporary conservation terms and is in some cases inimical to the preservation of the site; it needs progressive replacement using acceptable modern techniques and materials.

The reactive monitoring mission’s report expressed its satisfaction with a number of actions that had been undertaken since the 30th session of the World Heritage Committee (Vilnius, 2006):

a) The boundaries of the core zone and the buffer zone have been delineated.

b) An emergency plan for 2006 has been prepared and most of its objectives have been realized.

c) The on-site staff of the Department of Antiquities has been reinforced.

d) The work of foreign archaeological missions has been reorientated, providing assistance in the development of a Geographical Information System (GIS), conservation and restoration of finds from excavations, and training of young Libyan archaeologists.

e) The clearance of undergrowth and general cleaning on the ancient city and the Northern Necropolis has been completed and the most heavily affected tombs have been cleared of graffiti.

f) Minimal signage has been installed on the site.

g) Major restoration work has begun at the Temple of Demeter.

h) The entrances of the site has been renovated and strengthened.

i) The installation of signs, the organization of programmes and courses, and a workshop in Arabic have been organized for local people, with the assistance of the University of Al Baïda.

j) The first Association of Volunteers of Cyrene has been set up and is very active and motivated, in particular in the clearance and surveillance of the property.

A number of longer-term measures have been launched, including:

a) A project for the creation and equipping of a museum, which would also be available for research teams, for training, and for restoration studios.

b) The progressive implementation of purification stations in order to assist in solving problems of pollution that affect the property.

c) The creation of a coordination committee reporting to the Prime Minister, to implement large-scale projects in the Djebel El Akbar area.

The mission report identified some problems that still persist:

a) Although the technical staff has been increased, there is a need to provide training in certain specialized areas, such as surveillance and monitoring personnel and young conservation specialists.

b) The Management Plan remains to be completed: it should be recognized that the 2006 emergency plan is only the first step in the implementation of this vital tool.

c) Monitoring of facilities work (VRD) and of construction should be improved. This will require the establishment of a consultative mechanism between urban planners in New Shahat and the management team at the property.

d) The Management Plan should take account of natural threats, mainly of climatic origin.

e) Efficient collaboration should be established with the University of Al Baïda in the fields of archaeological research and the training of archaeologists for site management.

f) Computer training programmes provided by foreign missions must be strengthened by a genuine transfer of technical knowhow to Department of Antiquities staff so as to reduce external dependence.

The recommendations of the mission were as follows:

a) The capacities of the Department of Antiquities staff should be strengthened by the introduction of training programmes and technical specialization.

b) The Management Plan should be completed and implemented as a matter of urgency.

c) The State Party should transmit the precise delineation of the World Heritage property and its buffer zone to the World Heritage Centre.

d) ‘Visit itineraries’ should be prepared to favour better comprehension and preservation of the property.

e) The State Party should inform the World Heritage Centre of all new projects that might have an adverse impact on the property, such as the establishment of a new urban settlement near Shahat.

f) An international technical committee should be set up to monitor architectural projects proposed for the property and for the museum.

g) Harsh cleaning treatments and over restoration of monuments that might adversely impact the “authenticity and integrity” of the property should be avoided.

h) Reinforce the information programme aimed at raising public awareness of the importance and fragility.

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


Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.63

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.53, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Expresses its satisfaction that the State Party has made considerable headway in the implementation of a number of requests made by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

4.       Requests the State Party to take action relating to the recommendations made by the Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission of January 2007 relating to:

a)      Rapidly completing, adopting and implementing the Management Plan;

b)      Transmitting the precise delineation of the World Heritage property and its buffer zone, to the World Heritage Centre;

c)      Augmenting the Department of Antiquities scientific, technical, and surveillance staff at the property by introducing training programmes and technical specialization;

d)      Informing the World Heritage Centre of all new projects, such as the establishment of a new urban settlement near Shahat;

e)      Avoiding harsh cleaning treatments and over restoration of monuments that might adversely impact the authenticity and integrity of the property;

f)       Reinforcement of the information programme aimed at raising public awareness of the importance and fragility of the property .

5.       Further requests the State Party to submit a progress report on these activities to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2009 for examination by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.