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Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat)

Iraq
Factors affecting the property in 2013*
  • Flooding
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Fragile mud brick structures

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Partial flooding and seepage due to a dam building project;
  • Fragile mud brick structures;
  • 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;
  • Armed conflict.
Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet established
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2013

Total amount granted: USD 6,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2013
Requests approved: 1 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved : 50,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2013**

November 2002: UNESCO mission for the Makhool Dam project; June 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 4 February 2013 in which it confirmed the cancellation of the Makhool Dam project, the general critical state of conservation of the property and the difficulties in terms of management, due to the absence of a comprehensive strategy to ensure the protection and conservation of the property, the lack of financial means as well as of enough skilled staff. There is no reference in the report to the works which were expected to begin by June 2011 for the construction of a retaining wall. This project was expected to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review.

A general strategy for conservation interventions was not yet in place in June 2011 although it was considered as a priority due to the risk of flooding and the erosive action of the Tigris River at some sectors. The negative impact of the on-going erosion and lack of drainage have not been addressed yet. The State Party mentioned the construction of a one-meter high shelter (iron structure) over the Royal Cemetery but did not provide enough details about this intervention. No information on the regulatory measures or the proposed intervention projects has been provided either. In 2012, the State Party submitted a draft retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, but still incomplete, which needs to be revised. The State Party also submitted a proposal for boundary clarifications, which does not correspond to the required format and also needs to be reviewed.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2013

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are pleased to learn the decision of the Iraqi authorities to cancel the Makhool Dam project which was threatening the property. They acknowldege the efforts made by the State Party and the difficulties and challenges which it faces on the ground. They recommend that the Committee underline the need for the State Party to develop and adopt comprehensive management and conservation plans, as the key condition toward the efficient implementation of the identified measures which aim at addressing the issues highlighted by the 2011 reactive monitoring mission (report available online at the following web address: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/36COM/documents/).

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies suggest that the State Party consider requesting the assistance of the UNESCO Office for Iraq and also envisage submitting an International Assistance Request in order to meet these objectives while submitting the details of all on-going or planned interventions at the site to the Wold Heritage Centre as per Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2013
37 COM 7A.24
Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) (C 1130)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7A.21 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Welcomes the announcement by the State Party of the cancellation of the Makhool Dam project;

4.  Requests the State Party to submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , the details of all on-going or planned interventions at the site, including the construction of the protective shelter at the Royal Cemetery;

5.  Reiterates its invitation to the State Party to submit a request for International Assistance to the World Heritage Fund to support the preparation of the requested conservation and management plans;

6.  Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, proposals for corrective measures and for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, together with a proposed timeframe, and to finalize the retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

7.  Also requests 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, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

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

37 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage 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-13/37.COM/7A, WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add and WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add.
  2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 37 COM 7A.29 )
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 37 COM 7A.30 )
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 37 COM 7A.16 )
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 37 COM 7A.37 )
  • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.17 )
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.2 )
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 37 COM 7A.3 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.4 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.5 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.6 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.7 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 37 COM 7A.8 )
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 37 COM 7A.23 )
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.10 )
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 37 COM 7A.32 )
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 37 COM 7A.33 )
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 37 COM 7A.18 )
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 37 COM 7A.14 )
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 37 COM 7A.24 )
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 37 COM 7A.25 )
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 37 COM 7A.26 )
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 37 COM 7A.11 )
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 37 COM 7A.19 )
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 37 COM 7A.20 )
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 37 COM 7A.12 )
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 37 COM 7A.27 )
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 37 COM 7A.36 )
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 37 COM 7A.38 )
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.13 )
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 37 COM 7A.34 )
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 37 COM 7A.21 )
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 37 COM 7A.22 )
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 37 COM 7A.35 )
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.15 )
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 37 COM 7A.39 )
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 37 COM 7A.28 )
Draft Decision:   37 COM 7A.24

The World Heritage Committee,

1.         Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A,

2.         Recalling Decision 36 COM 7A.21, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.         Welcomes the announcement by the State Party of the cancellation of the Makhool Dam project;

4.         Requests the State Party to submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, the details of all on-going or planned interventions at the site, including the construction of the protective shelter at the Royal Cemetery;

5.         Reiterates its invitation to the State Party to submit a request for International Assistance to the World Heritage Fund to support the preparation of the requested conservation and management plans;

6.         Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, proposals for corrective measures and for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, together with a proposed timeframe, and to finalize the retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

7.         Also requests 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, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

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

 

Report year: 2013
Iraq
Date of Inscription: 2003
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2003-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 37COM (2013)
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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