1.         Samarra Archaeological City (Iraq) (C 276rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2007

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2007-present

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

State of conflict in the country that does not allow the responsible authorities to assure the protection and management of the property.

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/276/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/276/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 100,000 from the Nordic World Heritage Fund for training and documentation aiming at the preparation of the Nomination File.

Previous monitoring missions

June 2011: Joint 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/276/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 3 February 2013 in which it provided brief information on ongoing actions at the site, aiming at addressing some of the issues highlighted by the 2011 reactive monitoring mission which assessed the state of conservation of five of the main components of the property (the Great Mosque and its Spiral Minaret, Abu Dulaf Mosque, the Caliphal Palace - Qasr al-Khalifa, Al-Ma'shuq Palace and Tell es-Sawwan) and defined priority measures to be implemented. (Report available online at the following web address: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/36COM/documents/). No information has been provided on whether these priority measures have been implemented since then.

Several factors affecting the property were identified, including the lack of a permanent management and conservation unit, the limited capacities for implementation of conservation measures, the lack of comprehensive planning tools, including a management and a conservation plan and issues related to permanent control and security.

The ongoing actions described by the State Party in its report consist of restoration works, notably at the Malwiya Minaret, the Great Mosque and a pathway surrounding the latter. No further details were provided regarding these interventions (maps showing the exact location, scope, timeframe, budget, human resources mobilized, etc.). The State Party also acknowledged the lack of staff, capacities and means to properly manage the site thus reiterating its call for international support for the planning of projects, restoration works and research.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that although efforts have been made by the State Party in regard to the conservation and protection of the property, the information provided on the actions undertaken is still too limited. Priority has to be given to the problem of lack of human and financial resources and of a clear work plan in the identification of the corrective measures and drafting the Desired state of conservation for the property. They recommend that the responsible authorities request the support of the UNESCO Office for Iraq to address these issues and look for potential international funding, including a Request for International Assistance from the World Heritage Fund.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7A.25

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-17/37.COM/7A,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7A.22 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Urges the State Party to pursue its efforts in implementing the recommendations of the 2011 reactive monitoring mission, and to prioritize the implementation of the following actions:

a)  Develop baseline documentation, including missing architectural plans and topographic surveys, carry out a detailed conservation condition survey,

b)  Undertake identified preventive conservation actions to ensure the stability of the built fabric,

c)  Identify regulatory measures to ensure the protection of the property and establish protocols for the approval of public works in the vicinity of the site, including the development of heritage and environmental impact assessments,

d)  Initiate the planning process for the development of the Management Plan for the property, including a comprehensive conservation plan,

e)  Establish a site management unit with adequate staff to implement priority conservation measures as well as maintenance and monitoring actions;

4.  Encourages the State Party to submit an International Assistance Request to facilitate the implementation of the above;

5.  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 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

6.  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;

7.  Decides to retain Samarra Archaeological City (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: