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Bahla Fort

Oman
Factors affecting the property in 1998*
  • Management activities
  • Other Threats:

    Degradation of the structures

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Degradation of the structures;
  • Use of recent construction materials (cement, etc.)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1998
Requests approved: 2 (from 1988-1988)
Total amount approved : 57,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1998**

October 1988: ICOMOS mission; March 1994: UNESCO World Heritage Centre mission; December 1994: ICOMOS expert mission; May-June 1995; September 1996; October 1997; September-October 1998: expert missions

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

An expert mission was undertaken to Bahla Fort in October 1997. The mission report provides detailed information about the collapsed north-west tower of the Fort as well as three proposals for the tower’s restoration. Furthermore, the mission strongly urges that in-depth investigations be undertaken as soon as possible on the strength of the original rock and on the whole structure of the Fort. This would allow for taking measures that would prevent new risks of large-scale collapse of the structures. It further recommends that an immediate hydrometric survey be conducted in the oasis and particularly in the vicinity of the Fort to study the causes of the soil humidity and capillarity ascent in large sections of the walls. Finally, it recommends that an overall management plan be prepared encompassing the Fort and the oasis.

Action Required

Having taken note of the report of the Secretariat concerning the situation at the Bahla Fort, the Bureau thanks the Omani authorities for their effort in safeguarding the site. However, considering the serious deterioration of the monument, the Bureau requests the Omani authorities to continue the collaboration with the international expert and inform the Committee of the progress through the Secretariat. In this connection, it approves the continuation of co-operation on a cost-sharing basis as previously agreed to continue rehabilitation and prepare a management plan for the site. It also recommends the early initiation of the hydrometric survey as a matter of emergency.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

Following previous expert missions, a third mission took place from 19 September to 3 October 1998 in order to assess the quality of the restoration works in terms of authenticity and use of materials, advise on future works and on the preparation of a management plan for an extended area, including the Fort and the oasis, as well as on the hydro-metric survey that should be undertaken urgently.

The Secretariat will present the results of the mission at the Committee session.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1998

The Committee may wish to examine information that may be available at the time of its session and take appropriate action thereupon. It is recommended to retain the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1998
22 BUR V.A.16
Bahla Fort (Oman)

Having taken note of the report of the Secretariat concerning the situation at the Bahla Fort, the Bureau thanked the Omani authorities for their effort in safeguarding the site. However, considering the serious deterioration of the monument, the Bureau requested the Omani authorities to continue the collaboration with the international expert and inform the Committee of the progress through the Secretariat. In this connection, it approved the continuation of co-operation on a cost-sharing basis as previously agreed, to continue rehabilitation and prepare a management plan for the site. It also recommended the early initiation of the hydro-metric survey as a matter of emergency.

22 COM VII.18
SOC: Bahla Fort (Oman)

VII.18 Bahla Fort (Oman)

Following previous expert missions, a third mission took place in September 1998 to assess the quality of the restoration works in terms of authenticity and use of materials, advise on future works and particularly on the preparation of a management plan for an extended area, including the Fort and the oasis, as well as on the hydro-graphic survey that should be urgently undertaken.

The mission reported that photogrammetric works were due to begin, facilitating therefore the restoration of the Fort. It recommended, among other things, that the conservation plan be completed including planning of archaeological works.

Finally, considering that the situation in the site has improved in a sensible manner, the mission discussed with the authorities the possibility of reinforcing the cost-sharing approach used so far. It submitted to the authorities a draft proposal and the Centre was awaiting a reply on this proposal.

The Committee commended the Government of Oman for the actions taken for the preservation of the Fort. It requested the Secretariat to collaborate with the national authorities in the preparation of a five-year conservation plan for the entire oasis, for examination by the Committee at its twenty-third session.

The Committee decided to retain the Bahla Fort on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 1998
Oman
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Danger List (dates): 1988-2004
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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