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Historic Centre of Bukhara

Factors affecting the property in 1997*
  • Management activities
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1997
Requests approved: 1 (from 1995-1995)
Total amount approved : 50,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1997**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997
The Bureau was informed by the Secretariat, ICOMOS and ICCROM of reports that major refacing and rebuilding of historic monuments and replacement of traditional architectural elements with inappropriate modern materials are being carried out at both Bukhara and Itchan Kala, as well as in Samarkand. These works, some irreversible, had been conducted in preparation for the 2500th Jubilee celebrations and have altered the appearance of the two World Heritage sites and Samarkand, which is on the Tentative List.

ICCROM also expressed concern over the demolition of traditional vernacular houses in some areas to create large squares surrounding the monuments, thereby impairing the integrity of the historic area.

The Bureau was informed that ICOMOS had been requested by the Secretariat to carry out a reactive assessment mission and that this would take place in early 1998. 
Action Required
Therefore, the Bureau decided to consider the findings of the ICOMOS mission at its twenty-second session in June/July 1998, and take appropriate action thereupon.
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

In 1995, one of the four minarets collapsed and resulted in destabilizing the entire structure of Chor Minar, Bhukara. Emergency assistance under the World Heritage Fund was provided to undertake urgent conservation measures.

Reconstruction and consolidation work was carried out between 1995-97. Despite the original agreement between UNESCO and the concerned authorities that the reconstruction, consolidation and conservation works would be carried out using traditional methods, the work has been conducted using non-traditional building material, such as poor quality cement and steel.

The Secretariat has received reports that major refacing and rebuilding of historic monuments and replacement of traditional architectural elements with inappropriate modern materials are being carried out at both Bukhara and Itchan Kala. These works, some irreversible, are being conducted for the 2500th Jubilee celebrations. They are altering the appearance of the two sites and are affecting the value of the properties.

The Secretariat and ICOMOS will report on the reactive assessment mission to Bukhara and Itchan Kala during the session.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1997

The Bureau may wish to examine information that will be provided at the time of its session and take appropriate action thereupon.

Summary of the interventions
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1997
21 COM VII.C.55
Reports on the state of conservation of cultural properties noted by the Committee

VII.55 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-first extraordinary session of the Bureau on the following cultural properties as reflected in the report of the Bureau session, Working Documents WHC-97/CONF.208/4B Section III.C.c):

Joya de Ceren Archaeological Site (El Salvador)

Le Canal du Midi (France)

Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)

Ashanti Traditional Buildings (Ghana)

Maya Site of Copan (Honduras)

Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri (India)

Quseir Amra (Jordan)

Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic)

Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico)

Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique)

Moenjodaro (Pakistan)

Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Philippines)

Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct (Spain)

Cultural World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka

Ancient City of Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic)

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

Itchan Kala, Historic Centre of Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

Shibam and Zabid (Yemen).

Report year: 1997
Date of Inscription: 1993
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)

* : 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.