1.         Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) (C 1130)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2003

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 50,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Dam proposal; state of war in the country

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1130/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

Further to the inscription of Ashur on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, at its 27th session, the World Heritage Committee approved an Emergency Assistance grant of US$50,000 for the establishment of a site management coordination unit and the development of a management plan for the property, in view of the threats posed by the on-going construction of a Dam near the property. As a consequence of the war, the Dam Project was halted but the site of Ashur remained endangered as a result of widespread looting and lack of maintenance. It became urgent, therefore, to assist the responsible Iraqi authorities in strengthening the presence and capacity of its staff on the site.


To this end, the Secretariat established a contract with an expert archaeologist, as team leader, for the development of an emergency Conservation Plan for the site. This activity, to be developed in close co-operation with the State Party, is conceived also as a training opportunity for the technicians of the Iraqi State Board for Antiquities and Heritage (SBOAH) and includes the provision of some essential equipment for their work at the site. A preliminary work-plan has already been prepared although, owing to the current security constraints, the implementation of this activity has been delayed. The Centre plans to dispatch the first preparatory mission to the site with the objective of defining the details of the programme, as soon as possible.


Thanks to a grant from the Nordic World Heritage Foundation the Centre is organizing a Training Workshop to introduce ten Iraqi specialists to the concepts and procedures of the Convention. This Workshop is due to take place in June 2004 in Jordan and is being organized in collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Amman. 

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


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15A.18

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Notes with concern that the security situation in Iraq is delaying implementation of activities critical for the conservation of Ashur;

2. 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 and shall constitute a counterpart of the World Heritage Centre in the development of an emergency Conservation Plan;

3. Requests the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to continue assisting the responsible Iraqi authorities, in every possible way, with the definition of an overall action plan for the conservation and management of the ancient city of Ashur, including capacity building for the staff of the State Board for the Antiquities and Heritage;

4. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-04/28.COM/15A Rev),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: