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Factors affecting the property in 1998*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Relative humidity
  • Water (rain/water table)
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Water infiltration affecting the walls
  • Road project
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1998
Requests approved: 1 (from 1998-1998)
Total amount approved : 7,500 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

Due to lack of the master plans for the city and for the management of the site, uncontrolled urbanization, construction works and inappropriate rehabilitation are threatening the authenticity of the site. Moreover, the mission members were informed that the Government was planning to build a vocational school for hotel management within the protected area of the monumental Roman quarry, one of the most important remains in Baalbek. Finally, the mission confirmed the findings of the 1995 mission of MM. Fonquernie and Bizri which reported risks to the Temple of Bacchus caused by rain and frost. Consequently, the Lebanese authorities informed the Centre of their need for international assistance for activities such as:

  • holding an international competition for the preservation of the Temple of Bacchus,
  • preparing a Management Plan integrating the heritage of the region in the overall development of the Baalbek-Hermel region as a means to develop the economic potential of the archaeology of the region and to better protect these sites through the direct involvement of the local population.

This last aspect of the co-operation was later discussed in March with the UNDP in Beirut. The Resident Representative confirmed his willingness to participate financially in a project that would integrate the management of the physical heritage of this region in an overall development process.

Action Required
After having taken note of the report of the Secretariat, the Bureau recommends that the new construction of the technical school be relocated to another place outside of the site.  Moreover, the Bureau encourages the Lebanese authorities to request international assistance from the World Heritage Fund to proceed with the appropriate preservation works and the preparation of a Management Plan. It thanks the Resident Representative of the UNDP for its offer of co-operation and requests the Centre to proceed with the formulation of the project.
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

Expressions of concern have been received by the Secretariat about extensive rehabilitation works being undertaken by the Lebanese Department of Antiquities contrary to established procedures. After the twenty-second session of the Bureau, the Centre received letters from the Lebanese authorities explaining the waterproofing works of the « crypto-portico » which was to be used as an exhibition area for the celebration of the centenary of the German excavations in Baalbek (November 1998). The German Archaeological Institute has confirmed to the Secretariat that the waterproofing works were technically sound and reversible.

After having taken note of the report of the Secretariat and the clarification stated by the Lebanese authorities, the Bureau thanked the authorities for the information received. It also thanked the German Archaeological Institute for its assistance in this matter, and congratulated the Lebanese authorities for the protective actions taken for the site by expropriating plots in front of the main entrance. Finally, the Bureau reminded the Lebanese authorities of the necessity to prepare a long awaited management plan for the site.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1998
22 BUR V.B.50
Baalbek (Lebanon)

After having taken note of the report of the Secretariat and the Delegate of Lebanon, the Bureau commended the Lebanese authorities for the relocation of the construction of the planned technical school outside of the inscribed zone. Moreover, the Bureau noted that the ongoing works for the Centenary exhibition foreseen in November at the site are totally reversible. Furthermore, the restoration work of the Grand Mosque is controlled by the Directorate General of Antiquities. The Bureau also thanked the Lebanese authorities for having requested technical assistance from the World Heritage Fund for the scientific study of the state of the Bacchus temple and its preservation. The Bureau encouraged the authorities to continue the preparation of a management plan. Finally, the Bureau thanked the Resident Representative of the UNDP for his offer of co-operation to finance a project on the integration of World heritage in the regional development of the Bekaa, and requested the Centre to proceed with the formulation of a project.

22 COM VII.43
Reports on the State of Conservation of Cultural Properties Noted by the Committee

VII.43 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/5) and included in Annex IV of this report on the following properties:

Rapa Nui National Park (Chile)

The Mountain Resort and Its Outlying Temples in Chengde (China)

The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)

Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu (China)

Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains (China)

City of Quito (Ecuador)

Memphis and its Necropolis - the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur (Egypt)

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis (Egypt)

Islamic Cairo (Egypt)

Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn (Estonia)

Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town in Quedlinburg (Germany)

Historic Centre of Florence (Italy)

Quseir Amra (Jordan)

Luang Prabang (Laos)

Baalbek (Lebanon)

Tyre (Lebanon)

Vilnius Historic Centre (Lithuania)

Old Towns of Djenné (Mali)

City of Cusco (Peru)

Archaeological site of Chavin (Peru)

Historic Centre of Lima (Peru)

The Baroque Churches of the Philippines (The Philippines)

Historic Centre of Porto (Portugal)

Island of Gorée (Senegal)

Sacred City of Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka)

Ancient City of Polonnaruva (Sri Lanka)

Ancient City of Sigiriya (Sri Lanka)

Site of Palmyra (Syrian Arab Republic)

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

Kiev: Saint Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings (Ukraine)

Complex of Hué Monuments (Vietnam)

Old City of Sana'a (Yemen)

No draft Decision

Report year: 1998
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iv)

* : 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.