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Factors affecting the property in 1990*
  • Earthquake
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports


International Assistance: requests for the property until 1990
Requests approved: 3 (from 1989-1990)
Total amount approved : 28,400 USD
Missions to the property until 1990**

July 1989: UNESCO expert mission; December 1989: UNESCO mission; March-April 1990: expert mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1990

Placed on the World Heritage List in 1982 under criteria (iii) and (iv), Tipasa became the chief town of Willaya in 1984. This decision created a need for new services and facilities and resulted in considerable urban growth and the development of tourism. Although they have been erected outside the precincts of the Old City, the new buildings have impaired the unity of the site. A Unesco expert, financed by the World Heritage Fund, visited the area from 8 to 13 July 1989 in order to evaluate the urban development programme and its effects on the site. It is to be noted that, in the conclusions to his report, which can be consulted in the Secretariat, the expert advised against the building of a hotel on the archaeological site. The site was affected by a violent earthquake in October 1989. In December 1989 a Secretariat mission enabled the Algerian authorities to make a request to the World Heritage Fund for the dispatch of a diagnosis mission, the purpose being to indicate the possibilities for using the buildings affected.

Emergency assistance amounting to US $18,900 enabled a mission to be sent out in March-April 1990 with the object of examining the stability of the structure of certain buildings and to suggest, in collaboration with the local authorities, the measures needed to ensure the safety of persons and the conservation of buildings belonging to the listed site and, in particular, the archaeological study centre serving the museum and the archaeological reserves of Tipasa. The mission noted that the building housing the museum did not show any visible signs of having been seriously damaged by the earthquake. Some work appeared necessary, but stability was not affected.

The small objects discovered on the ancient site of Tipasa, which are not on show in the museum, are stored in a building dating from 1942 which has become dangerous. As the building has no historical value, its demolition can be contemplated. However, as it is essential to protect the objects in storage, they need to be transferred to a less dilapidated building. Measutres were recommended as a matter of urgency by the expert.

When the expert visited the Maghreb Centre, he identified a large amount of damage to the main building caused by the earthquake. It proved possible to recover the building housing the Maghreb Centre by taking serious measures to consolidate the walls.

Parallel to the mission by the structural specialist, an architect was sent to the site to examine a programme for the restructuring of the present village of Tipasa (located within the boundaries of the area placed on the World Heritage List) and to make recommendations concerning future improvements that might be made to it.

The consultant had at his disposal the Tipasa urban restructuring scheme and made comments thereon, referring in particular to the need for a precise topographic plan before any proposals could be made for the introduction of new buildings, the size and height of which would require further study. The experts' technical report can be consulted in the Secretariat.

Summary of the interventions
This report was not discussed during the World Heritage Committee session.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1990

No draft Decision

Report year: 1990
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2002-2006
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 14COM (1990)

* : 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.