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Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat)

Iraq
Factors affecting the property in 2006*
  • Flooding
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Fragile mud brick structures

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. 

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Nearby construction of a dam entailing partial flooding and seepage;
  • State of war in the country.
Corrective Measures for the property

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 coordination unit on the site;

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

e) Protection and consolidation of fragile mud brick structures.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
No specific timeframe has yet been set by the Committee or State Party, which mainly depends upon the evolution of the situation in the country.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2006

Total amount provided to the property: USD 6,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust

NB: Extra-budgetary funding is allocated to cultural heritage preservation in Iraq, if not specifically for the site of Ashur (equipment, training, etc.).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2006
Requests approved: 1 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved : 50,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

Current conservation issues:

As reported at the 28th session of the Committee, a preliminary work plan for an assessment mission to the site was prepared in order to develop an emergency conservation plan and the basis for a management plan of the site. However, the implementation of this activity had to be delayed, due to current security concerns.

Information was provided to the World Heritage Centre on the telephone and by e-mail by the Chairman of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage. He assured that the building of the dam which had justified the inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger had been cancelled and that the property was well kept and no longer required to be on the List of World Heritage in Danger. However, it was not possible to prepare, as requested by the Committee at its 29th session, a conservation and management plan for the site or to establish the management unit on the ground.

Within the overall context of the international assistance to Iraq, UNESCO has developed a large programme for cultural heritage preservation, to which the World Heritage Centre participates actively. Thanks to a donation from the Czech Republic to the World Heritage Fund, USD 30,000 was utilised to purchase photogrammetric equipment. In addition, a USD 100,000 grant was allocated by the Nordic World Heritage Foundation. The latter grant allowed the World Heritage Centre to organize a training workshop in Amman, Jordan, in September 2004, in order to introduce ten Iraqi specialists to the concepts and procedures of the Convention. Two additional workshops took place in June and September 2005, in Amman and in Paris, to train thoroughly four Iraqi experts from the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in view of developing a complete nomination file for the archaeological city of Samarra. This nomination file was submitted in January 2006.

Despite the cancellation of the dam project and the assurances of the State Party that no specific action threatens the archaeological remains, the Committee might, however, in the light of the situation prevailing in Iraq, choose to maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2006
30 COM 7A.20
Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) (C 1130)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7A.18 adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Notes with great concern the present situation in Iraq and regrets the obstacle it represents in the implementation of safeguarding activities;

4. Encourages the State Party to establish, as early as possible, a site management coordination unit, which will be responsible for any action to be undertaken on the property;

5. Requests the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to continue assisting the responsible Iraqi authorities in the development of a comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the property;

6. Also requests the State Party to initiate the preparation of a Conservation and Management Plan for the property, possibly through an International Assistance Request, and, should it be possible, with international expertise, to present a progress report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2007 for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007;

7. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

30 COM 8C.2
Update of the World Heritage List in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-06/30.COM/7A and WHC-06/30.COM/7A.Add.Rev),

2. Maintains the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

   • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 30 COM 7A.22)

   • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, (Decision 30 COM 7A.23)

   • Azerbaijan, Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Decision 30 COM 7A.29

   • Benin, Royal Palaces of Abomey (Decision 30 COM 7A.16)

   • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.1)

   • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 30 COM 7A.31)

   • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.2)

   • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.3)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.8)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.6)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Virunga National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.7)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Garamba National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.4)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Salonga National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.5)

   • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 30 COM 7A.19)

   • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.9)

   • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.15)

   • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 30 COM 7A.13)

   • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 30 COM 7A.25)

   • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 30 COM 7A.20)

   • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 30 COM 7A.34)

   • Nepal, Kathmandu Valley (Decision 30 COM 7A.26)

   • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 30 COM 7A.10)

   • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 30 COM 7A.27)

   • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 30 COM 7A.32)

   • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 30 COM 7A.28)

   • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 28 COM 7A.17)

   • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.14)

   • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 30 COM 7A.33)

   • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 30 COM 7A.21)

Draft Decision: 30 COM 7A.20

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 75A.18 adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Notes with great concern the present situation in Iraq and regrets, amongst others, the obstacle it represents in the implementation of safeguarding activities;

4. Encourages the State Party to establish, as early as possible, a site management coordination unit, which will be responsible for any action to be undertaken on the property;

5. Requests the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to continue assisting the responsible Iraqi authorities in the development of a comprehensive Conservation and Management plan for the property;

6. Also requests the State Party to initiate the preparation of a Conservation and Management Plan for the property, possibly through an International Assistance Request, and, should it be possible, with international expertise, and to present a progress report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2007 for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007;

7. Decides to retain Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2006
Iraq
Date of Inscription: 2003
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2003-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 30COM (2006)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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