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Bahla Fort

Oman
Factors affecting the property in 2012*
  • Housing
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of the earthen structures of the Fort

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Deterioration of the earthen structures of the Fort;

b) Use of inappropriate conservation techniques;

c) Urban pressure;

d) Lack of a management plan and appropriate legislation.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2012

Total amount provided to the property: USD 25,000 (private funding).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2012
Requests approved: 2 (from 1988-1988)
Total amount approved : 57,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2012**

2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003: World Heritage Centre expert missions; December 2009: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

On 2 March 2012, the State Party submitted a report which addresses the progress concerning the souq rehabilitation project, past and present restoration measures as well as the implementation of some of the recommendations of the 2009 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission.

a) Souq rehabilitation project

Based on the recommendations of the 2009 reactive monitoring mission, the proposed souq rehabilitation scheme was revisited by the State Party, and a largely revised project outline was submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 14 January 2011. While the revised proposal is far more consistent with cultural heritage objectives and addresses most of the issues identified during the reactive monitoring mission in 2009, it should be expanded to better describe the detailed project design and implementation schedule, address emergency actions for the rapidly decaying and disintegrating shop structures and consider the need for archaeological investigation. Given the rapid disintegration of a number of shops, the emergency actions should be given high priority. A governmental funding commitment to the souq rehabilitation seems an important prerequisite for further preparatory and emergency measures.

b) Management plan

The State Party reported that the final version of the Management plan was submitted in January 2011. ICOMOS provided comments on this version and requested the State Party to finalize the Management plan in the light of the comments and initiate its official approval by decree or equivalent promulgation. The finalization of the Management plan should be guided by considerations for the implementation of management strategies, the legal framework in which it would operate, as well as roles and responsibilities of the different authorities involved. It should also consider the wider landscape and community of the site by enlarging the buffer zone and incorporating capacity-building aspects and a monitoring mechanism for all measures, in particular “change control”.

c) Quality of bricks used in restoration

Based on a study of the quality achieved in different brick production methods with different ingredients, the bricks selection for restoration measures has been revised. Following the State Party’s report, preference is now given to air-dried bricks of clay, which have been mixed with straw and water for up to 15 days. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are of the view that long-term studies should be conducted to evaluate the aging characteristics of this and other compositions.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2012

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies indicate that the revised souq rehabilitation schemes is better suited to protect the historic souq structures while enhancing them for contemporary use. Detailed plans for the souq rehabilitation should now be developed and supported by the financial commitment of the respective government authorities. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies further advise to base the detailed project design and implementation schedule on the results of a heritage impact and risk assessment of the proposed measures. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend that the Committee request the State Party to finalize the management plan, taking into consideration all comments provided by ICOMOS, and that it needs to be formally adopted, following its finalization. In addition, the State Party should be encouraged to continue its commitment to implementing the recommendations of the 2009 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2012
36 COM 7B.57
Bahla Fort (Oman) (C 433)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.62, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3.   Acknowledges the revised project scheme for the souq rehabilitation, requests that details of the final plans be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies and recommends that the State Party undertake immediate emergency measures for the shops affected by critical decay or disintegration;

4.   Notes the submission of the revised Management plan, also requests the State Party to finalize it, taking into account the comments provided by ICOMOS and to officially adopt it by decree, and further requests the State Party to provide three printed and electronic copies of the finalized Management plan to the World Heritage Centre;

5.   Requests furthermore the State Party, as indicated in the annex of the Management plan, to define an enlarged buffer zone and submit the buffer zone boundaries according to the procedure for minor boundary modification, outlined in paragraphs 163-164 of the Operational Guidelines;

6.   Encourages the State Party to monitor over a longer period the aging characteristics of the different brick types in order to continuously improve the selection of materials for restoration and rehabilitation and to continue its training activities to develop local masonry and brick production expertise;

7.   Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above.

Draft Decision: 36 COM 7B.57

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.62, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Acknowledges the revised project scheme for the souq rehabilitation, requests that details of the final plans be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies and recommends that the State Party undertake immediate emergency measures for the shops affected by critical decay or disintegration;

4. Notes the submission of the revised Management plan, also requests the State Party to finalize it, taking into account the comments provided by ICOMOS and to officially adopt it by decree, and further requests the State Party to provide three printed and electronic copies of the finalized Management plan to the World Heritage Centre;

5. Requests furthermore the State Party, as indicated in the annex of the Management plan, to define an enlarged buffer zone and submit the buffer zone boundaries according to the procedure for minor boundary modification, outlined in paragraphs 163-164 of the Operational Guidelines;

6. Encourages the State Party to monitor over a longer period the aging characteristics of the different brick types in order to continuously improve the selection of materials for restoration and rehabilitation and to continue its training activities to develop local masonry and brick production expertise;

7. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above.

Report year: 2012
Oman
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Danger List (dates): 1988-2004
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 36COM (2012)
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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