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Archaeological Site of Cyrene

Libya
Factors affecting the property in 2013*
  • Crop production
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Housing
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Surface water pollution
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Need to complete the Management Plan in order to co-ordinate actions in the short- and medium-term;
  • Need to provide a detailed map at the appropriate scale showing the boundaries of the property and buffer zone;
  • Threat to rock-hewn monumental tombs as a result of inadequate protection, leading to vandalism and the development of agricultural activities in the rural zone and urban constructions;
  • Inappropriate earlier restoration work;
  • Problem of discharge of sewage from the modern town into the Wadi Bel Ghadir;
  • Inadequate on-site security and control systems;
  • Need for a presentation and interpretation system for visitors and the local population.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2013
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2013**

January 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; August 2008: World Heritage Centre mission. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property on 28 March 2013. In this report, the State Party confirms that the property was not directly affected by the 2011 conflict but that indirect damage due to vandalism was noted, notably at the Jason Magnus Palace, where the mosaic of the four seasons was vandalized and two emblems depicting the seasons were stolen. Since the end of the conflict, manmade degradation of the site has increased, in particular vandalism, graffiti on monuments and erosion from uncontrolled circulation and access. The lack of control and maintenance during the conflict due to a reduction in the number of staff, which was already limited, has favoured these phenomena. Furthermore, urban encroachment has increased due to the extension of the neighbouring city of Shahat and random construction within the site remains uncontrolled, all of which threatens the integrity of the property.

a)  Capacity-building

Since the end of the conflict, the Department of Antiquities has benefited from the support of UNESCO which has launched two emergency projects in 2012. The first one, funded by the Government of Italy, is the Programme for the Protection and promotion of Cultural Heritage in Libya and foresees Cyrene as the pilot site for Cyrenaica, to implement technical training courses on documentation, conservation, presentation and interpretation, awareness raising campaign to sensitize communities vis-à-vis urban encroachment and uncontrolled building construction, use of land and environmental/natural landscapes issues. This project which should start in the coming months will also enforce security at the property and provide training for guards. The second project Emergency intervention to secure museums and sites in Libya, funded by Libya itself, aims at addressing the damages which affected the mosaic of Jason Magnus Palace while also reinforcing the security measures. The staff of Controller Office of Cyrene also benefited from training activities in the fields of documentation and information management and has been significantly reinforced since January 2013. It is also foreseen to sign a cooperation agreement with the Department of Archaeology of the University of Bayda to jointly work on the protection of the property and to explore means for long term capacity building. The State Party announces that awareness raising actions targeting visitors will be undertaken in order to prevent vandalism.

b)  Management and Conservation Plan

The participatory drafting of the management plan of the property has commenced, in coordination with UNESCO and with the support of the World Bank.

In terms of conservation of the property, the Department of Antiquities is planning to organize in 2013 two preliminary technical assessment missions in collaboration with UNESCO. Their objective is to evaluate the level of damage at the site and identify appropriate resources (human, technical and material) to elaborate a training programme in various fields and develop a comprehensive conservation plan, which would include a substantial component addressing the issues of inappropriate past restoration.

c)  Boundaries of the property

The State Party’s report indicates that mapping of the site by the staff of Shahat Controller Office is in progress so as “to map the extension of the site and to identify the boundaries, with the view to define a more defensible site boundary and buffer zone in light of the rampant construction occurring within the core site as it had previously been defined”. This objective may need further clarification by the State Party so that the process is undertaken in accordance with the Operational Guidelines. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the efforts made by the State Party, since the end of the conflict, to improve the protection and conservation of the property, in close collaboration with UNESCO. This includes the progress made in the reinforcement of the Controller Office of Cyrene in terms of staff and technical means to accomplish its mission, as well as in the implementation of other recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission of January 2007. They however wish to recall the need for a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, with specific attention to the key attributes which convey its Outstanding Universal Value. Finally, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies wish to recall that all the current or planned actions undertaken by the State Party should be conducted within the framework of a comprehensive conservation and management plan, with a clear identification of the property’s boundaries and its buffer zone, to be finalized as soon as possible and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2013
37 COM 7B.53
Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (C 190)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.54 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Commends the State Party for the progress made in the reinforcement of the protection and conservation of the property as well as the implementation of other measures recommended by the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission of January 2007;

4.  Thanks all the donors and partners which have technically and financially supported the State Party in its efforts towards the reinforcement of the protection of the property and the improvement of its state of conservation and invites them to continue to support these actions;

5.  Requests the State Party to finalize, as soon as possible, the conservation and management plan of the property and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;

6.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, within the framework of the Retrospective Inventory, a map clearly showing the boundaries of the property as well as regulatory measures foreseen to ensure the protection of the property;

7.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 , a state of conservation report of the property, with a specific attention to the key attributes which carry its Outstanding Universal Value, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.

Draft Decision:  37 COM 7B.53

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.54, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Commends the State Party for the progress made in the reinforcement of the protection and conservation of the property as well as the implementation of other measures recommended by the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission of January 2007;

4.  Thanks all the donors and partners which have technically and financially supported the State Party in its efforts towards the reinforcement of the protection of the property and the improvement of its state of conservation and invites them to continue to support these actions;

5.  Requests the State Party to finalize, as soon as possible, the conservation and management plan of the property and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;

6.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, within the framework of the Retrospective Inventory, a map clearly showing the boundaries of the property as well as regulatory measures foreseen to ensure the protection of the property;

7.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a state of conservation report of the property, with a specific attention to the key attributes which carry its Outstanding Universal Value, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.

 

Report year: 2013
Libya
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2016-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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