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

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet established

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

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

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

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.

Decision Adopted: 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.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 8C.2

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: