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Kasbah of Algiers

Algeria
Factors affecting the property in 2013*
  • Changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge system
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Land conversion
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Natural erosion
  • Lack of maintenance of dwelling places
  • Loss of traditional conservation techniques
  • Uncontrolled land use
  • Non-operational safeguarding plan
  • Lack of coordination of activities 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2013
Requests approved: 5 (from 1993-2002)
Total amount approved : 92,600 USD
Missions to the property until 2013**

September 2001: World Heritage Centre reactive monitoring mission; from November 2007 to November 2009: Six World Heritage Centre missions financed by the State Party for the Safeguarding Plan and the issue of the metro.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

On 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party in response to Decision 35 COM 7B.47 (UNESCO, 2011). The report provides a brief overview of progress made in implementing the recommendations of the World heritage Committee.

a)  Impact of the development of the Metro on the Place des Martyrs

The State Party had previously reported that, based on test excavations which found potentially significant archaeological remains at the Place des Martyrs, the Metro station, originally planned for a depth of 19 metres, will now be lowered to 34 metres so as not to disturb the archaeological layer. It further stated the only visual elements of the Metro at the surface level would be the access points. A museum will also be included in the development, but it will be entirely underground with access through one of the Metro access points. 

In its state of conservation report, the State Party has updated this information to inform the Committee that a new, more extensive archaeological survey confirms the existence of important archaeological remains, including a basilica with polychrome mosaics and a cemetery. A detailed report of the excavations, including visual material, was submitted. Further archaeological research is to be carried out by the national authorities in cooperation with a team from France. The State Party reports that technical documents, detailed design, and development plans for the Metro station and the museum station are currently being prepared and will be forwarded to the World Heritage Centre as soon as they are completed. 

b)  Information on projects envisaged for the Place des Martyrs, which are linked to the project for the Bay of Algiers and to the Urban Development Plan for the entire city

The State Party reports that the urban master plan had foreseen a new memorial at the Place des Martyrs. The Ministry of Culture opposed this new urban insertion, and the report states that the Office of the Prime Minister has agreed with the position of the Ministry of Culture. The report states that the project has now been formally cancelled, and the Place des Martyrs will remain an open space with only minimal visual impacts from the access points to the Metro and museum. The State Party has recently invited an Advisory mission to review several foreseen projects. Arrangements for the mission are currently in process between the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

c)  Cadastral map

Following the request of the World Heritage Committee, the State Party reports that it has submitted a cadastral map to the World Heritage Centre in December 2012, in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory process (see Document WHC-13/37.COM/8D).

d)  State of advancement of the Permanent Plan for the Safeguarding and Valorization of the property

The State Party reports that the plan was approved by decree on 21 March 2012 and will be implemented by the “Agence Nationale des Secteurs Sauvegardés”. This organization was created in 2011, and will begin its work with the appointment of a director in August 2013.

As noted in a previous report, a first phase of urgent conservation measures was carried out in 2011. A second phase aiming at implementing protection and enhancement activities is now underway, based on a commitment of 920 million euros, over a period of 10 years, made by the State Party in March 2012, in the framework of the 2013 Finance Act. Prioritization of the work to be carried out will include the study and restoration of buildings held in private property and will be based on a condition survey already completed, with properties in the most urgent need of restoration being given first priority.

The State party further reports that it is updating its information on the legal status of each building and has set up a communication mechanism for interaction with local owners, which will allow it to better understand their needs and points of view and to work together to find adequate solutions. Through this mechanism, there have been 266 requests for the conservation and rehabilitation of buildings, and 120 owners have expressed interest in selling their properties to the State. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the continuing efforts made by the State Party to protect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. In particular, they note the cancellation of the planned memorial in the Place des Martyrs, the efforts made to minimise the physical and visual impacts of the proposed access to the Metro station. They also take note of the commitment of the State Party to secure substantial funding for the urgently needed rehabilitation and conservation work on the urban fabric. They further note the ongoing archaeological research being carried out, which will enhance knowledge and understanding of the property. 

 

The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies consider there is a need for a Heritage impact assessment in order to better understand the impact of the Metro station access on the attributes that sustain the OUV of the property. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2013
37 COM 7B.46
Kasbah of Algiers (Algeria) (C 565)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.47 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Takes note of the information provided by the State Party concerning measures taken to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and commend s its commitment for securing substantial funding for the urgently needed rehabilitation and conservation work on the urban fabric;

4.  Encourages the State Party to continue its efforts through the implementation of the approved Permanent Plan for the Safeguarding and Enhancement of the property;

5.  Requests the State Party to provide, as soon as possible and before any irreversible commitments are made, a Heritage impact assessment for the Metro station access to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;

6.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 , 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 39th session in 2015.

37 COM 8D
Clarifications of property boundaries and areas by States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/8D,

2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 8D, adopted at its 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 2012),

3. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the delimitation of their World Heritage properties and thanks them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;

4. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will not be able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitation of such properties as inscribed is unclear;

5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the following States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory, as presented in the Annexes of Document WHC-13/37.COM/8D:

  • Algeria: Kasbah of Algiers;
  • Brazil: Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas; Brasilia; Historic Centre of São Luís;
  • Cuba: San Pedro de la Roca Castle, Santiago de Cuba;
  • Dominican Republic: Colonial City of Santo Domingo;
  • Germany: Hanseatic City of Lübeck; Völklingen Ironworks;
  • Jordan: Petra;
  • Mexico: Sian Ka’an; Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque; Historic Centre of Puebla; Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines; Historic Centre of Morelia; Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino; Historic Centre of Zacatecas; Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco; Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes; Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan;
  • Panama: Darien National Park;
  • Paraguay: Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue;
  • Peru: City of Cuzco; Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu; Chavin (Archaeological Property); Chan Chan Archaeological Zone; Historic Centre of Lima; Río Abiseo National Park; Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana;
  • Russian Federation: Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments; Kizhi Pogost;
  • Spain: Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches; Historic City of Toledo; Historic Walled Town of Cuenca; Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona;
  • Viet Nam: Complex of Hué Monuments;

6. Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible and by 1 December 2013 at the latest.

Draft Decision:   37 COM 7B.46

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.47, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Takes note of the information provided by the State Party concerning measures taken to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and commends its commitment for securing substantial funding for the urgently needed rehabilitation and conservation work on the urban fabric;

4.  Encourages the State Party to continue its efforts through the implementation of the approved Permanent Plan for the Safeguarding and Valorization of the property;

5.  Requests the State Party to provide, as soon as possible and before any irreversible commitments are made, a Heritage impact assessment for the Metro station access to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;

6.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, 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 39th session in 2015.

 

Report year: 2013
Algeria
Date of Inscription: 1992
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(v)
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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