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Aksum

Ethiopia
Factors affecting the property in 1998*
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Need to strengthen the role of the site manager

International Assistance: requests for the property until 1998
Requests approved: 1 (from 1996-1996)
Total amount approved : 2,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

In 1996, a report on the state of conservation of Aksum was submitted to the twentieth session of the World Heritage Committee which underlined that: “The site management should be strengthened by providing and collecting scientific documentation at the site level as the basis for management and conservation planning, particularly in view of the master plan that is being prepared.”

 

In 1998, the Director of the Division of Cultural Heritage deemed it necessary “to foresee an urban plan to protect the site threatened by construction projects envisaged by the religious authorities”.

In November 1998, a staff member of ICCROM during a pre-appraisal mission for the World Bank in Ethiopia noted that:

1.  a wooded site directly across from the main Stele had been cleared of its trees, and that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church had plans to build a residence for the Patriarch of the Church. However, no construction work had yet commenced.

2.  The Director of the Centre for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (CRCCH), while aware of the planned construction, had not been shown the plans of the proposed building nor was he informed that work was about to begin. The attached map illustrates this information.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1998
22 COM VII.32/33
SOC: Aksum (Ethiopia)

VII.32 Aksum (Ethiopia)

In November 1998, a staff member of ICCROM during a preappraisal mission for The World Bank in Ethiopia, noted that a wooded site directly across from the main Stele had been cleared of its trees, and that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church had plans to build a residence for the Patriarch of the Church. However, no construction work had yet commenced. It furthermore noted that the Director of the Centre for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (CRCCH), while aware of the planned construction, had not been shown the plans of the proposed building nor was he informed that work was about to begin.

The Committee, aware of the very important role of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the life of the community, and as a hold of very important cultural heritage in the town of Aksum and Ethiopia, requested

1. the Centre to send a letter to the Centre for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (CRCCH) and the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church drawing attention to the significance of the World Heritage values of the site and underlining the need to preserve it, which would require the postponement of any further work in the proximity of the Stele,

2. that the mission on the state of conservation planned by the World Heritage Centre in June 1998, which was postponed for security reasons, be carried out as soon as possible with the purpose of drawing a clear definition of the boundaries of the World Heritage site,

3. due support and consideration be given by the Ethiopian institutions and UNESCO to the preparation of a comprehensive town plan of Aksum with a clear conservation component which balances the conservation constraints with the need for the continued growth and development of the city and the communities of Aksum.

The Bureau recommended the Committee to adopt the following:

“The Committee, aware of the very important role of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the life of the community and as a hold of very important cultural heritage in the town of Aksum and Ethiopia, requests

1.  the Centre to send a letter to the Centre for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (CRCCH) and the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church drawing attention to the significance of the World Heritage values of the site and underlining the need to preserve it, which would require the postponement of any further work in the proximity of the Stele,

2.  that the mission on the state of conservation planned by the World Heritage Centre in June 98, which was postponed for security reasons, be carried out as soon as possible with the purpose of drawing a clear definition of the boundaries of the World Heritage site.

3.  due support and consideration be given by the Ethiopian institutions and UNESCO to the preparation of a comprehensive town plan of Aksum with a clear conservation component which balances the conservation constraints with the need for the continued growth and development of the city and the communities of Aksum.’

Report year: 1998
Ethiopia
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 22COM (1998)
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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